Michigan State University ignored or mishandled hundreds of reports of child sex abuse by Olympic physician Dr. Larry Nassar, according to a report published Thursday by the Michigan House of Representatives.
According to the report, Michigan State University officials focused more on protecting the university than on the reports of child sex abuse that poured in from victims of Dr. Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics national team doctor and an osteopathic physician at Michigan State University. Nassar was sentenced in January to 40 to 175 years in Michigan state prison after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual assault of minors.
The report claims that 243 victims reported abuse by Nassar to the Michigan State University police department since 2014. Nearly all of the victims were minors when the abuse took place.
In a section of the document about Nassar victim Amanda Thomashow, the committee writes that Michigan State University failed to properly investigate Thomashow’s abuse complaint. The university aggressively denies that they failed to properly investigate the complaint despite evidence that suggests otherwise.
“MSU failed to properly investigate Nassar in response to the Title IX complaint filed by Amanda Thomashow in 2014,” the report reads. “By doing so, it may have enabled the abuse of others which otherwise might have been prevented.”
“We feel compelled to note MSU appears to defiantly and wrongfully maintain it did not mishandle this investigation,” a footnote on the document reads. “For example, MSU defends the conclusion of the 2014 report finding Nassar’s abuse of Ms. Thomashow was medically appropriate on the basis that the facts of her case were materially different from those of a later investigation which reached the opposite conclusion.”
Thomashow spoke during the second day of Nassar’s sentencing in January. “At the end of a long and tiring appointment, that man sent his resident out of the room and then stuck his hand up my shirt and down my pants,” Thomashow said. “He sexually assaulted me in spite of my protests and would not let me leave until I agreed to come back for a follow-up assault. It was terrifying and disgusting and I spent days in shock from the violation I had experienced at his hands.”
“I waited to hear back from the university for days, for weeks, and I started to feel uneasy again. I started to give up hope. I worried my words hadn’t been taken to heart,” Thomashow added.
“The investigation done by MSU was brief and sloppy and it left me feeling disposable and worthless,” she stated