Monday, 16 September, 2019

Michigan State didn't disclose how it will pay the settlement

Larry Nassar appears in court for a plea hearing in Lansing Mich. on Nov. 22 2017 Larry Nassar appears in court for a plea hearing in Lansing Mich. on Nov. 22 2017
Ginger Lawrence | 17 May, 2018, 03:47

A victim credited with exposing serial sexual abuser Larry Nassar says she is grateful to have reached a legal settlement with Michigan State University that reflects the "incredible damage" that took place on campus.

"This historic settlement came about through the bravery of more than 300 women and girls who had the courage to stand up and refuse to be silenced", said lead attorney John Manly.

The Nassar fallout has shaken Michigan State to its core, with major changes occurring at the top and the school being criticized for its handling of the fallout.

The agreement is one of the largest sexual assault settlements in history, far eclipsing the [2016] agreement Penn State University reached with victims in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.

Rachel Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of abuse eighteen months ago, says she is "very happy that [the athletes] are done with litigation" but disappointed that there will be no new changes in policy.

Michigan State University on Wednesday announced a $500 million settlement with 332 women who said they were assaulted by former school employee Larry Nassar.

In December, MSU's board directed the university establish a $10-million Healing Assistance Fund to provide counseling services to Nassar's victims.

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In addition to Nassar's role with Michigan State, he also served as a USA Gymnastics doctor. Nassar's former boss, William Strampel, was arrested in March for failing to monitor Nassar despite repeated warnings to do so - not to mention accusations of sexual assault of his own - and Kathie Klages resigned after the former Spartans gymnastics coach was suspended for defending Nassar.

Kaylee Lorincz, who spoke about Nassar's abuse in court, had a mixed reaction to the settlement. In fact, MSU still claims it properly handled the Title IX investigation in 2014 into Nassar's abuse which completely cleared Nassar - clearing the way for him to continue abusing patients under the guise of medical treatment for another two years. Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography charges and also faces two additional 40 year sentences in MI prisons for the sexual assault crimes. He is serving sentences that will likely keep him in prison for life.

The US Department of Education is also investigating the public university's handling of reports of Nassar's abuse.

The deal was announced Wednesday by Michigan State and lawyers for 332 victims.

There will be no confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure agreements attached to the settlement.

"Michigan State is pleased that we have been able to agree in principle on a settlement that is fair to the survivors of Nassar's crimes", Young said. "That being said, my investigation is still open and ongoing", Forsyth said in a statement.