Michigan State University is asking the Michigan Attorney General to investigate its handling of the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal.
Nassar, a former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting patients under the guise of treatment in two counties.
While he only pleaded guilty to assaulting a handful of women and girls, he’s being sued by more than 140 people who say he abused them over the course of two decades. Around 100 of them are speaking out at the sentencing hearing for Nassar in Ingham County. The hearing started Tuesday and is expected to last through Friday, if not longer.
Michigan State University is also named in the on-going civil lawsuit, because the women and their attorneys say officials and employees were told about the abuse, but failed to act.
An attorney representing MSU says an internal investigation found no evidence that was the case.
But after a closed door session this morning, the Board of Trustees asked the Attorney General to revisit the situation.
“Although we have confidence in the integrity of the various reviews already conducted by law enforcement, subject matter experts, and outside counsel to the university, we are making this request because we believe your review may be needed to answer the public’s questions concerning MSU’s handling of the Nassar situation,” wrote Trustees Chair Brian Breslin and Vice Chair Joel Ferguson in a letter to the Attorney General.
The pair say that after hearing the victim impact statements at Nassar’s sentencing this week, “we have concluded that only a review by your office can resolve the questions in a way that the victims, their families, and the public will deem satisfactory and that will help all those affected by Nassar’s horrible crimes to heal.”
“The testimony of Nassar’s victims this week made many of us, including me, listen to the survivors and the community in a different way,” said MSU President Lou Anna Simon in a statement. “It is clear to the Board and me that a review by the Attorney General’s Office can provide the answers people need. As I told the Attorney General in December, MSU will fully cooperate with any inquiry by law enforcement authorities. I hope this review will help the survivors and the entire MSU community heal and move forward.”
The move pre-empts an anticipated review by the Attorney General’s office. 6 News broke the story two weeks ago that they already planned to investigate MSU.