UPDATE: Michigan State University President Lou Anna k. Simon sent a letter to everyone who’s part of the Spartan community Friday.
In it, she tries to reassure people that the investigation into sexual assault and abuse allegations against former MSU Dr. Larry Nassar is being handled the right way.
Nassar already faces state charges of sexual assault and federal charges of possession of child pornography, but the number of victims is growing and the investigations are continuing.
Attorney Jamie White is representing some of the victims. He said the Michigan State University Police Dept. is doing a good job of investigating allegations against Nassar, but he’s also concerned police aren’t doing enough to investigate how other people within the university handled the allegations.
“Anytime you have anybody operating towards the same goal, often times there will be differences in opinion. There was a point in time where we had a different in opinion with Detective Mumford with regards to some reporting that had been done, but there’s nothing unusual about that,” White said. “The police have worked diligently and continue to work diligently to bring Dr. Nassar to justice and they should be commended for their efforts. We have a lot of different victims involved in this; they all come from different sets of facts and circumstances.”
White filed another motion on Friday to add one of his clients as a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit that lists more than 20 defendants. White has already filed two similar motions for two other clients.
In a letter sent to the MSU community on Friday, Simon said “There should be no ambiguity and the university expects every employee to fully cooperate with any law enforcement investigation and any interference will not be tolerated.
“You may have read media stories or comments related to former MSU doctor Larry Nassar, the sexual assault allegations against him, and his work at MSU and other organizations. You will undoubtedly see more. This situation is still unfolding as allegations continue to emerge regarding Nasser’s criminal and repugnant behavior. I want to recognize the courage it takes for individuals to come forward with details of personally traumatic events and assure you we are looking into every aspect of this situation with integrity and diligence.
After taking a report of alleged sexual assault against Nassar on Aug. 29, MSU Police Department detectives immediately began an investigation and notified our administration. Since then, many additional complaints have been reported.
Our top priority continues to be ensuring justice is served. The MSU Police Department is dedicating significant resources to this investigation and is coordinating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the state Attorney General. We are fully cooperating with every aspect of the ongoing criminal investigations and have urged all members of the MSU community to do so as well.
As part of this commitment, we have to be respectful of the investigative process, respectful of the judicial process, and respectful of the victims involved. Therefore, our ability to comment will often be limited regardless of the nature of public reports or whether they contain conflicting or confusing information.
While the investigations continue, one fact appears clear. Based on the dozens of criminal complaints made against Nassar to MSU Police and the criminal charges brought against him by the Michigan Attorney General and federal U.S. Attorney’s Office, Nassar abused the trust of his patients and his professional responsibility as a physician.”
MSU Police Chief James Dunlap said all criminal violations are investigated, allegations of state violations are referred to the Attorney General’s Office and any allegations of federal violations are sent to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He also said that if non-criminal allegations are made they are referred to the appropriate administrative office for their review.
“The Michigan State University Police Department continues to investigate numerous reports of Criminal Sexual Conduct involving Larry Nassar. Like all statutorily created law enforcement agencies, the MSUPD acts to independently report investigative findings to the appropriate prosecutorial entity.
With regards to Larry Nassar, the predicate to all of the charges and indictments thus far obtained at either the state level or federal level have been the direct result of the investigations conducted by MSUPD.
At no time has President Simon demanded anything from our office other than her expectation that a thorough investigation of these cases occur. At no time has the Attorney General or the U.S. Attorney expressed any concerns over the ability or quality of the investigation by MSUPD.
Our detectives have devoted thousands of hours in a tireless effort to get the best possible outcome for all of the victim/survivors of these incidents. We will continue our efforts until each incident is resolved.”
Two other local attorneys working separate cases involving Dr. Nassar allegations, David Mittleman and Mick Grewal said they haven’t had any concerns when it comes to how the MSU police department is investigating.
The Attorney General’s Office also weighed in saying,
“The Attorney General has confidence in the work of Chief Dunlap and the MSU Police Department’s work investigating the allegations of sexual assault by Dr. Larry Nassar.”
Nassar, for his part, says he’s not guilty of any charges.
EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – In the face of an unfolding sexual assault investigation involving a former Michigan State University gymnastics team coach, MSU president Lou Anna K. Simon has sent a letter to the university community.
The letter, obtained by 6 News, says she “recognizes the courage it takes for individuals to come forward with details of personally traumatic events” and that the university is “looking into every aspect of this situation with integrity and diligence”.
She calls Dr. Larry Nassar’s behavior “criminal and repugnant” and that the university’s top priority is “ensuring justice is served”.
Simon detailed a timeline of university actions taken since the complaints against Nassar surfaced in August 2016.
Those steps include firing Nassar on September 20, 2016, launching an internal review of his work at the university and reviewing processes, policies and the role of chaperones, informed consent and other areas of operation.
Finally, there should be absolutely no ambiguity that we have always expected and continue to expect every university employee to cooperate fully with any law enforcement investigation, as well as any internal reviews. Any interference with an investigation or review will not be tolerated.
Simon concluded the letter by reinforcing that “sexual misconduct in any form is abhorrent, and no member of our community should be threatened by sexual violence”.
READ THE LETTER: msu-letter