WLNS – One of the first women to publicly bring accusations of sexual assault against Nassar is sharing two open letters she wrote to Michigan State University officials.
Rachael Denhollander was one of the first 18 women in the original set of civil lawsuits against Nassar.
She addressed one letter to MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon and another letter to the William Strampel, the Dean of the Osteopathic medicine which is the department Nassar worked for.
The letters are in response to a Washington Post article. It cites a statement from Simon where she told university trustees that it’s “virtually impossible” to stop a determined sexual predator.
Denhollander’s letter to Simon reads in part: “virtually impossible to stop a determined predator and pedophile? President Simon, if this is what you have been told, you need new advisors.”
Later in the letter she said: “You see President Simon, your words matter. Your words matter far beyond Larry Nassar and far beyond MSU. Because what you have just told your Trustees, your officials, your school, and the watching world, is that it ultimately doesn’t much matter what someone does. Ultimately, officials who are willfully indifferent to abusers in their midst can wash their hands and walk away, because men like Nassar are “virtually impossible to catch.”
Denhollander then mentions the scandal at Penn State with Jerry Sandusky.
“President Simon, you had some very strong and very appropriate words for officials at Penn State who allowed an abuser like Jerry Sandusky to walk free. I had hoped that same commitment to protecting children would be present when it came to light that some of those same mistakes were made under your watch.”
In her letter to Strampel, Denhollander referenced the information she read in a recent Washington Post article which showed excerpts of emails between Nassar and other MSU officials regarding the police complaint accusing Nassar of sexual assault.
“The part that caught my eye was when the Post reported that you met with Larry to discuss my police and Title IX report. You assured another MSU official Larry would only miss work “for a short time” during the investigation. When you heard that I’d talked to the IndyStar, you told Larry “good luck” and “I’m on your side,” she said.
Denhollander goes on to say:
“I understand that you knew Larry well, and you didn’t know me, but I wonder, when you made that determination about what I’d alleged and who you supported, did you know my police and Title IX report contained the names of four medical experts, including three pelvic floor specialists, that I’d consulted over a span of more than 10 years, as I desperately tried to figure out what had happened to me? Did you know all four said Larry’s alleged “treatment” was well outside the bounds of any recognized medical technique and all of them were willing to say so? Did you know I had medical records and four witnesses showing I had been investigating Larry’s supposed treatment and consistently telling the same story, for 15 years, as I searched for answers? Did you read any of the national and international medical information I presented to both sets of investigators demonstrating what real pelvic floor therapy looked like, versus what your friend did to me? Did you read my written, point-by-point refutation of the videos Larry says show exactly what he does? Did you care about any of that evidence when you said Larry would be off for “just a short time,”or did you not even bother to hear the evidence, before wishing Larry “good luck” and deciding you were “on his side”? And since that was your response to me, with everything I brought, knowing what an uphill fight this would be, no wonder you didn’t listen to the woman who pleaded to be heard in 2014 too. Have you thought at all about the little girls who walked into Larry’s exam room since you welcomed him back in 2014, without putting any accountability or followup structure in place to make sure he followed the guidelines of his reinstatement?”
6 News reached out to MSU spokesman Jason Cody, he sent the following statement: “While we respect Rachel Denhollander’s opinion, many of the things discussed in her open letters are either part of an ongoing criminal investigation, our pending internal review or potential litigation. As the president has said, we will do all we can to ensure justice is served for all of Nassar’s victims, as well as safeguard our patients and continue to protect youth who come to our campus in all capacities. Sexual violence has no place at Michigan State University.”
Michigan State University has said in previous statements that it only became aware of a complaint in 2014 and investigated. The investigation resulted in rules of conduct that Nassar admits he didn’t always follow. MSU fired him after he acknowledged that late last year.
Nassar faces some two dozen sexual assault charges at the state level and child pornography charges at the federal level. Michigan State University Police says it has received more than 100 complaints against Nassar since September 2016. They say new reports are filed almost weekly.
The former doctor has maintained his innocence saying he used legitimate medical techniques and that he’s not guilty of any criminal charges. His trial in Ingham County starts next Friday.