Michigan bills add mandatory reporters after Nassar scandal

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Legislation advancing in Michigan would add athletic trainers and physical therapists to the state’s list of mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal.

The House approved the bills Wednesday and sent them to the Senate for further consideration.

Some Nassar victims have said they told a gymnastics coach and trainers at Michigan State University, where the former sports doctor worked, that he had molested them under the guise of treatment, but nothing was done.

“When you look at the failure to report, those who use their authority to intimidate others on reporting, it happens all over. Not only on college campuses, but in our communities,” State Rep. Julie Alexander, who co-sponsored some of the bills, said. “This is legislation that will help to keep individuals safe.”

Coaches are not included in the legislation. A sponsor says she wanted to include coaches but had to compromise.

Another bill passed Wednesday would make it a crime for people to use their professional authority over someone to prevent the reporting of sexual assaults.

“We recognize we have to hold people accountable and make sure that people who are in positions of authority are not legally able to take advantage of that authority,” State Rep. Julie Brixie said.

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