Michigan State University faces probe on sexual assault claims against Nassar
Scott Olson/Getty Images(EAST LANSING, Mich.) — Michigan’s attorney general announced Saturday a broad investigation into one of the state’s flagship universities, Michigan State, to find out “who knew what and when” about any sexual assault claims against Larry Nassar, a former athletic trainer for the university and the USA Gymnastics team’s doctor.
Nassar has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years for sexually assaulting young women in his care. More than 150 women have testified or submitted victim-impact statements about abuse they suffered at the hands of Nassar.
“It is abundantly clear that a full and complete investigation of what happened at Michigan State University, from the president’s office on down, is required. This investigation is and will continue to be independent, thorough, transparent and prompt,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said at a press conference Saturday afternoon.
A team of investigators will look at “who knew what and when, who took action, who failed to take action, what did or did not happen, and what should have happened,” he said.
Schuette, who is running for governor, said the ongoing probe is looking into “systemic issues with sexual misconduct at Michigan State University” and that “no individual and no department” is off-limits.
He said his department has already been investigating how the school may have handled any complaints about Nassar and that he has asked the university Board of Trustees to hand over any information they have gathered on the case.
The investigation is being led by independent special prosecutor and retired Kent County prosecutor William Forsyth, with investigative support and assistance from the Michigan State Police.
“In all my time as a prosecutor, I have always put victims and survivors of crime first. Truth and justice are the bedrock of any investigation, and that is the philosophy I will bring to this case,” Forsyth said at Saturday’s press conference. “Like everyone, I have questions, and I am going to answer those long-overdue questions.”
Nassar worked as an athletic trainer at the university for over two decades. He started in his position as national medical coordinator for USA Gymnastics in 1996.
An Ingham County judge on Wednesday sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison on seven counts of criminal sexual misconduct in the first degree, to which he pleaded guilty in November.
Lou Anna Simon resigned as president of Michigan State University that night, just hours after Nassar’s sentencing.
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