GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WLNS) – Michigan State University and the local gymnastics club Twistars both filed separate court documents Friday, asking to be removed as defendants in the massive civil suit being brought against former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
More than 100 women and girls claim Nassar sexually assaulted them under the guise of medical treatment while working for MSU and USA Gymnastics.
The former doctor has pleaded guilty to some of the charges, but a large civil case remains and it names MSU and the gymnastics club Twistars as defendants.
MSU claims it has sovereign immunity to some charges and that Ttitle IX complaints in this case, fail to show that Nassar’s misconduct was reported to an appropriate person so that the university could respond.
John Geddert is the owner of Twistars. In the motion, his attorneys said most of the claims are invalid due to the statute of limitation being expired.
The motion goes on to say that Geddert is among the many people who were “fooled” by Nassar, adding that it does not give rise to liability.
“Mr. Geddert was not a witness to the alleged abuse and did not learn of it until after Nassar was arrested,” the motion says. Just like everyone else, Mr. Geddert was at first incredulous when these accusations came to light only to ultimately realize that the allegations against Nassar were indeed untrue.”
Nassar will be sentenced in Ingham County next week. He faces 25 to 40 years in prison.
He will also be sentenced in Eaton County, after he pleaded guilty to three charges relating to sexual assaults that happened at Twistars Gymnastics Club in Dimondale.
According to court records and testimony, Nassar treated the young women in a back room at the club.
During testimony in May, one woman took the stand and said Geddert allegedly walked in the room while Nassar was performing said medical treatment and made a joke about it.
“I remember, John, my coach walking in and that’s kind of why I remember because I did feel uncomfortable that he was in there.”
“And then what happened?” The Attorney General asked.
“Mostly all I remember is him (Nassar) doing the treatment on me with his fingers in my vagina and massaging my back and with a towel over my butt and John walking in and making a joke that I guess my back really did hurt and then I was uncomfortable because John was in there during that,” The woman replied.
In the motion, Geddert’s attorneys argue that the “Plaintiffs’ quest to bring Nassar to justice, they overzealously and wrongly accuse Mr. Geddert and his gym, Twistars, of a litany of wrongs, none of which are well-founded in either the facts or the law,” it says. “These allegations are made even though Mr. Geddert was not a witness to the alleged abuse and did not learn of it until after Nassar was arrested.”