LANSING - Lt. Governor Brian Calley* signed a series of bills that were inspired by one of the most notorious sexual assault cases in modern history.
Larry Nassar, a former doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, pleaded guilty to molesting only a handful of women and girls under the guise of treatment, but more than 300 people have come forward to say they were sexually abused by the once world-renowned doctor. The abuse, whose victims include gold medal Olympians, appears to date back some 20 years.
The new laws, which Snyder approved on Tuesday, would help protect athletes and others.
One would give young victims more time to come forward to report abuse. Another would give prosecutors more time to file charges against suspects if the victims are/were children.
“Sexual assault is a heinous crime, and we have been working hard to strengthen our laws to help protect against it while ensuring survivors have more time to seek justice,” Calley said in a press release.
The Michigan legislature is continuing to debate other bills inspired by the Nassar case.
“My greatest hope is that this is only the first step in much-needed legislative reform,” said Rachel Denhollander in the same release.
Denhollander was the first person to speak out publicly about Nassar's abuse. Her story triggered his downfall.
Nassar is serving a federal 60 year sentence for child pornography charges. If Nassar, who is in his 50's, survives that sentence, he'll be transferred to Michigan, where he'll serve up to a 175 year sentence for sexual assaults in Ingham and Eaton counties.
* An earlier version of this story said that Governor Rick Snyder signed the bills into law. Lt. Governor Brian Calley signed them. The Lt. Governor can sign bills when the governor is out of state.
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