Saturday, January 20, 2018
Michigan State has a problem
Perhaps you have been following the victim statements in the sentencing of Larry Nassar, the man who served as the sports doctor for Michigan State and the US women's gymnastics team. The allegations underlying his conviction and brought in at sentencing are horrifying.
Nassar will probably spend the rest of his life in prison. Limiting the punishment to him, though, seems irresponsible. Those who employed him were given information about his sexual abuse of children, over and over, and did not address the problem. According to the the Detroit News, at least eight women made complaints to the school, and at least one of those reached the president of the school:
Reports of sexual misconduct by Dr. Larry Nassar reached at least 14 Michigan State University representatives in the two decades before his arrest, with no fewer than eight women reporting his actions, a Detroit News investigation has found.
Among those notified was MSU President Lou Anna Simon, who was informed in 2014 that a Title IX complaint and a police report had been filed against an unnamed physician, she told The News on Wednesday.
“I was informed that a sports medicine doctor was under investigation,” said Simon, who made the brief comments after appearing in court Wednesday to observe a sentencing hearing for Nassar. “I told people to play it straight up, and I did not receive a copy of the report. That’s the truth.”
Among the others who were aware of alleged abuse were athletic trainers, assistant coaches, a university police detective and an official who is now MSU’s assistant general counsel, according to university records and accounts of victims who spoke to The News.
Collectively, the accounts show MSU missed multiple opportunities over two decades to stop Nassar, a graduate of its osteopathic medical school who became a renowned doctor but went on to molest scores of girls and women under the guise of treating them for pain.
Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to assaulting nine girls in Ingham County but faces more than 150 civil suits that also involve MSU and others. Already sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography in federal court, Nassar will be in Ingham County Circuit Court on Thursday for the third day of his sentencing hearing for seven counts of criminal sexual conduct.
In response to all this yesterday, the MSU board "doubled down" in their support of the President.
This echoes in many ways the mistakes that were made at Baylor. There, they took down the leadership once the charges became public.
What do you think should happen at MSU?