20 more women added to federal lawsuit against Nassar

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WLNS) – Twenty more women have been added to a federal lawsuit against former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

This brings the number of plaintiffs who are suing MSU and Nassar in federal court to more than 70. A handful of other lawsuits also name USA Gymnastics.

Thursday’s complaint alleges that from 1996 to 2016 Nassar allegedly sexually assaulted, abused, and molested plaintiffs through vaginal and anal digital penetration.

Most of the women were minors at the time of the alleged abuse.

The filing Thursday includes a former ballerina, former youth gymnastics, and former college athletes to name a few.

The complaint alleges the assaults happened several times during medical appointments at Nassar’s office at MSU, USAG sanctioned events, Twistars Gymnastics Club, and Nassar’s home in Holt.

Nassar faces more than 20 counts of criminal sexual conduct in Ingham and Eaton County, three federal child pornography charges, and several other civil lawsuits.

The former doctor has maintained his innocence in state and federal court and says the treatments he performed on his patients were accepted medical techniques.

MSU fired Nassar back in September 2016 when the university says it learned Nassar was not following new institutional guidelines, which were placed upon him following an investigation in 2014.

“This appears to be one of the largest sexual abuse scandals in the history of amateur athletics. Many of these assaults took place after MSU acknowledged receiving sexual abuse complaints against Nassar in 2014,” Stephen Drew said.

Drew is an attorney at a Grand Rapids law firm Drew, Cooper & Anding who filed the complaint Thursday.

“Others took place after USAG received similar complaints in 2015. The complaint alleges that these organizations, as well as Twistars, continued to allow Nassar to have unfettered access to young women. This complaint alleges that MSU, USAG, and Twistars failed to enforce their own policies against sexual harassment and assault or had inadequate policies to combat sexual abuse,” Drew said.

6 News reached out to MSU Spokesperson Jason Cody and John Geddert’s attorney for comment. Geddert runs Twistars, the Lansing gymnastics club.

Geddert’s attorney declined to comment beyond a statement which was sent last week from John and Kathryn Geddert.

It reads: “The safety and overall well-being of our athletes is – and has always been – our No. 1 priority. We have many policies in place that are designed to protect our athletes, and we have always taken this responsibility seriously.

We had zero knowledge of any of the allegations against Dr. Nassar, who was never an employee of Twistars. Our hearts go out to the women who have spoken up and, like everyone else, we are sickened to the core by their stories.
 
We appreciate the outpouring of support from our Twistars families and the gymnastic community.”

Nassar’s attorneys Matt Newburg and Shannon Smith declined to comment on the recent filing.

Thursday’s complaint alleges that Nassar made inappropriate sexual comments during medical treatments, didn’t use gloves, and didn’t explain the treatment he was performing on the young girls.

Since the Michigan State University Police Department launched an investigation into Nassar, officials say more than 90 complaints have been filed against the former doctor. Police say that number could grow as time goes on.

MSUPD Chief Jim Dunlap says the department has several investigators working the case who continue to devote thousands of hours to the ongoing investigation.

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