OKEMOS, MI (WLNS) – Since this past fall, there have been dozens of former patients who have accused former MSU doctor Larry Nassar, of sexual abuse.
One of those former patients talked one-on-one with 6 News for an exclusive interview.
Her name in the lawsuit is listed as Jane Doe BMSU, but in everyday life she’s a wife and mother of four kids.
6 News talked with her Tuesday at her attorney’s office at Church Wyble, a division of Grewal Law and she asked that we not show her face or reveal her name.
It wasn’t easy for her to tell her story and she said it wasn’t easy for her two decades ago, either when she brought her concerns to an MSU Gymnastics coach.
She said she’s speaking out to empower and encourage young girls, women, or anyone who believes they may be a victim of Dr. Larry Nassar, to speak up.
“Gymnastics was always my passion,” Jane Doe BMSU said.
For Jane Doe BMSU gymnastics was her life.
“Outside of God and school and gymnastics was like part of my identity,” she said.
Jane Doe BMSU was part of the youth program at MSU, which was run by MSU Gymnastics Coach Kathie Klages.
Jane Doe BMSU was first introduced to Dr. Larry Nassar after she sustained a lower back injury.
She said remembers looking to him as if he was a celebrity because he was highly recommended in the gymnastics community.
“He was really like an idol to all of us young gymnasts because he was the USA Gymnastics Olympic doctor,” Jane Doe BMSU said. “He was like almost like a god to us. Who wouldn’t want to see someone like that.”
She said at the age of 16 or 17. She started to realize the treatment she was receiving from Dr. Nassar wasn’t quite right.
“One of my teammates found out that something was going on or something may be not right was going on with the treatments that he was doing because he would do it when we were at practice,” she said.
She said the issue was brought to coach Klages.
“She just couldn’t believe it,” Jane Doe BMSU said. “I mean, nobody wants to believe that something like that is happening. So I think that’s why she reacted the way she did.”
“She kind of conducted her own investigation and she ended up pulling in girls, different teammates of mine into her office while I was sitting there and asked them if they had experienced anything different with Dr. Nassar,” Jane Doe BMSU said. “She sat down and she held up a piece of paper and said “I could file this but there’s going to be very serious consequences for both you and Dr. Nassar.”
REPORTER: “What was your reaction to that? I mean, why would you suffer consequences for receiving medical treatment?
JANE DOE BMSU:”I think the embarrassment is what she was talking about.”
“The fact that she did react that way, I felt like she silenced me that night. I felt like I must have a dirty mind, I must be messed up for thinking that something inappropriate was happening,” Jane Doe BMSU said.
She said Klages silenced her by scaring her.
“All of these adults were telling me that it was OK and that I was wrong and so i was 16, 17 years old and who am I to question these authority figures,” she said.
“He (Nassar) actually talked to me and said Kathie had talked to him about the situation and that I had concerns and of course I was mortified at that point when he was asking me. I felt betrayed by Kathie. I remember apologizing to him for thinking of it in a way that I shouldn’t have been thinking of it.”
She said for roughly two years, Nassar continued to inappropriately touch her as she sought medical treatment for her back injury.
“I had to put my mind in other places because there were things that would happen that seemed really inappropriate,” Jane Doe BMSU said. “So I would just tell myself “well everybody told me this was a medical treatment. I had to convince myself it was OK in order to survive through it.”
“So many people shoved it under the rug because he was such a prominent doctor,” she said.
REPORTER: “Does it make you angry that this allegedly went on for so long?”
JANE DOE BMSU: “It does, because I know I came forward…as early as ‘97 and who knows. Who knows. It could have been stopped.”
“He betrayed us,” she said. “He betrayed our trust and the people who shoved it under the rug and ignored it betrayed our trust.”
Jane Doe BMSU has a message for those listening:
“Don’t bury it like I did. Face it. Don’t be silenced. Let your voice be heard. I want people to see that this can happen and even people that you trust, instead of ignoring it,” she said. “To help change the future for our kids, for other women, girls, and even boys and men who may be victims of sexual abuse.”
REPORTER: “Would you say that this situation and what was happening forced you out of gymnastics?”
Jane Doe BMSU: “I think so, yeah. Looking back now, I believe that is ultimately why I quit gymnastics. I always wanted to do gymnastics in college.”
“Letting my voice be heard now and going to a lawyer and taking the next steps to make sure that justice is served, I think that that has helped me cope.”
6 News tried multiple times to reach out to MSU Gymnastics Coach Kathie Klages to ask her about claims that she heard about the abuse allegations some 20 years ago, we have not heard back from her.
Church Wyble, in a division with Grewal Law, filed a motion Tuesday to add four more plaintiffs to a federal lawsuit that claims Nassar abused his power and trust to sexually abuse his accusers.
Nassar is currently behind bars on federal charges of child pornography, after police say they found tens of thousands of images at his home in holt.
Nassar also faces three counts of first degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Ingham County. Nassar has pleaded not guilty to all of his charges and denied any wrongdoing.
He’s also the target of at least six civil lawsuits, some of which name MSU as a defendant.
Since the allegations first became public knowledge at the end of 2016, university spokesman, Jason Cody said the university was not aware of any complaints against Nassar until 2014.
The university said at that time, it investigated the complaint and took action.
The university also fired Nassar in September of 2016 after more complaints prompted another investigation.
For months, MSU has asked possible victims to speak up.
Stay with 6 News, Larry Nassar is due back in court on February 17th for a hearing to determine if he will go to trial.
We’ll be here for you with updates as the case continues.