WLNS – U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein plans to introduce legislation requiring Olympic national governing bodies to immediately report sexual abuse allegations.
The California Democrat’s announcement Friday comes in response to Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics’ delay in reporting a female athlete’s concerns about a sports doctor.
USA Gymnastics went to federal authorities a month after starting an internal investigation into Dr. Larry Nassar.
Nassar, who also treated female gymnasts at Michigan State University, quit USA Gymnastics in 2015 after the investigation.
On Friday, Ingham County Judge Donald Allen ordered Nassar to stand trial on 3 counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct charges after a 25 year-old woman testified she was repeatedly molested from age 6 to 12.
The woman was not receiving treatment from Nassar or on a gymnastics team he served as a doctor for, she was simply a family friend.
Just under 40 women and girls say Nassar abused them while under his care.
The woman who testified Friday, isn’t the only person who says they told someone at MSU about alleged abuse by Nassar.
Two women who filed a civil suit against Nassar said they told MSU Gymnastics Coach Kathie Klages about the alleged abuse 20 years ago.
Klages lawyer said she never heard any allegations against Nassar and that if she had, she would have reacted immediately.
Klages retired earlier this week, after the university suspended her.
An MSU spokesperson said the university was not aware of any complaints against Nassar until 2014.
The school investigated that case, but didn’t fire Nassar until more complaints came to light in September of 2016.
Friday’s hearing isn’t the only one Nassar faces. He’s also looking at federal child pornography charges after investigators said they found a hard drive with nearly 37,000 images in a trash can outside Nassar’s home.
That trial was supposed to start this month, but a judge pushed it back to May 2017 to give both sides more time to prepare.
Officials from Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office say they are still getting information from MSU Police that could lead to even more charges.
The Attorney General’s Office released the following statement after Friday’s hearing:
“I am grateful for the dedication of the Michigan State Police Department and the prosecutors in the Department of Attorney General for their continued hard work on this case. I admire the courage of the young women who had to relive her terrifying experience and I am grateful that Judge Allen bound over Dr. Nassar on these extremely serious charges.”
The MSU police chief said he has 17 officers investigating complaints against Nassar and they want anyone with information to come forward.
In each of these cases, Nassar has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him and said the treatments he used are accepted medical techniques.