Attorneys representing 18 alleged victims of former Michigan State University physician, Dr. Larry Nassar, announced the filing of a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, Southern Division.
The lawsuit arises out of multiple incidents of alleged sexual assault, battery, molestation and harassment of the women by Dr. Larry Nassar, an employee of Michigan State University from 1996 to as recently as 2016.
According to the complaint, “From 1996 to 2016 Defendant Nassar sexually assaulted, abused, and molested Plaintiffs, most of whom were minors, through vaginal and anal digital penetration, without the use of gloves or lubricant and groped some of their breasts.
Defendant Nassar carried out these acts without consent of Plaintiffs or their parents, for those who were minors at the time of the incidents.”
“I was a patient of Larry Nassar in 2000 and, at age 15, was repeatedly sexually assaulted by Dr. Nassar under the guise of medical examinations and medical treatment. It was evident during these treatments that this was a procedure he used regularly and confidently. As a resident of Michigan and a member of the gymnastics community, I was acutely aware of the level of prominence Dr. Larry Nassar occupied in the medical, academic, and athletic spheres, and was confident that neither MSU nor USAG could be ignorant of the methods of alleged treatment he used so routinely. I am grieved to know now how misplaced that belief in both USAG and MSU was,” said plaintiff Rachael Denhollander.
“My desire is not only to protect children from living this nightmare at the hands of Dr. Larry Nassar, but to do what I can to prevent children from living this nightmare at the hands of any predator. That requires significant institutional reform for both MSU and USAG,” said Ms. Denhollander.
“The victims ranged in age from 9 to 29 at the time of their alleged abuse. They participated in a wide range of sports including gymnastics, softball, basketball, soccer, figure skating and swimming. According to the complaint, Dr. Nassar treated hip, leg, back, and ankle injuries with his “inter-vaginal adjustments.”
Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and Twistars were named as defendants in addition to Dr. Nassar.
“This case is about protecting our vulnerable young children from sexual abuse and assault. The institutions that fail to protect them by not engaging in strong and thorough investigations and discouraging persons from reporting their concerns, must be held accountable,” said victim’s attorney Stephen Drew, a partner in Grand Rapids based Drew, Cooper & Anding.
In November 2016, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette charged Nassar with three counts of first degree criminal sexual assault with a person under 13. The charges allege that Nassar repeatedly assaulted a girl between 1998 and 2005, beginning when she was six-years-old.
In December 2016, Nassar was arrested on Federal child pornography charges. The two count indictment states that Nassar possessed “thousands of images of child pornography.”
FBI investigators found at least 37,000 images and videos of child pornography in his garbage. According to published reports, some videos show the doctor sexually assaulting girls under the age of 12.
Complaint filed in Federal Court (PDF)
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