Alleged Nassar victim reveals her identity: “I’m calling all survivors of sexual assault or abuse to unite”

OKEMOS, MI (WLNS) – We continue to follow the latest developments on the sexual assault allegations against former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

The former doctor faces criminal charges on the state and federal levels. Almost weekly, the list of allegations against him gets longer and so does an on-going federal lawsuit where nearly 80 plaintiffs are suing the former doctor and Michigan State University.

6 News has spoken exclusively with a couple of those plaintiffs. When we interviewed them last month, we didn’t reveal their names or identities but those Jane Doe’s want you to know who they are.

Among the dozens of women and girls who have been added to a federal lawsuit against Nassar, you’ll find the name “Jane Doe BMSU.” 6 News shared her story with you last month when she anonymously reflected on the nearly 20 years of her life that were changed forever as a result of an MSU doctor and gymnastics coach.

She says she was silenced and lost sight of her identity but she’s speaking out again to make herself known, with hopes to empower others to come forward like she did.

“You may know me as BMSU in the filings of the complaint, but my name is Larissa Boyce and I’m calling all survivors of sexual assault or abuse to unite,” she said.

It’s not easy to talk about sexual assault. In fact, it was far from a simple task for Larissa Boyce nearly two decades ago at the age of 16 when she says she was silenced by then MSU gymnastics coach Kathie Klages after raising concerns about treatments by former MSU doctor Larry Nassar.

“All of these adults were telling me that it was ok and that I was wrong,” she said during our interview on Feb. 7.

It happened in the 90’s and last month, she anonymously shared her story with us for the first time.

“I had to put my mind in other places because there were things that would happen that seemed really inappropriate,” she said.

Feeling defeated by Klages’ actions, Boyce said it left her feeling embarrassed and intimidated. A whirlwind of emotions she carried into her adult years.

“It really affected lots of areas of my life,” Boyce said. “I got angry, I started making bad decisions and I always questioned myself.”

REPORTER: “Why did you decide to come forward today and reveal your name and identity?”

LARISSA: “To give other girls courage to do the same thing. Sexual abuse is something that people are afraid to talk about because it’s uncomfortable and that is something I want to change.”

Boyce plays many roles in her daily life. She’s a daughter, wife, and mother to four kids. She’s suing Nassar for years of alleged sexual abuse but she said she’s not looking for revenge. She knows she can’t change the past, she’s using her story to demand change for the future and when we sat down with her for this interview her message couldn’t have been more clear.

“I want MSU and USA Gymnastics to be leaders of that change,” Boyce said. “That would give them integrity. I want to see them have that integrity.”

While the healing process takes time, Boyce said she recently found hope after a new Title IX investigation by MSU found that Nassar did sexually assault a woman he treated more than two decades ago.

“That is really what has given me the most closure right now,” Boyce said. “Because I felt validated. I finally felt validated after 20 years of feeling like I was told that I was wrong.”

REPORTER: “Larissa if you could say one thing to Larry, what would be your message to him?”

LARISSA: “I want him to see how many people he’s hurt. That it wasn’t just us girls, but our families are hurting, our parents are hurting, it’s affected more than just us..it’s affected his family and he just, he had so much to offer and could have done so much good for people.”

While some people say they told MSU staffers about Nassar’s behavior as far back as the 90’s, an MSU spokesperson says the university didn’t get a complaint until 2014. It investigated that complaint and as a result, set up guidelines for Nassar to follow.

MSU officials say Nassar was fired after they say he admitted not always following those guidelines.

While some people say they told MSU staffers about Nassar’s behavior as far back as the 90’s, an MSU spokesperson says the university didn’t get a complaint until 2014. It investigated that complaint and as a result, set up guidelines for Nassar to follow.

MSU officials say Nassar was fired after they say he admitted not always following those guidelines.

When it comes to former MSU Gymnastics Coach Kathie Klages, she’s also been named as a defendant in a lawsuit. Klages retired in February, one day after being suspended by the school.

The school did not initially explain the reason behind the suspension, but said it had to do with Klages handling of controversy surrounding a lawsuit by athletes against Dr. Larry Nassar and MSU.

In a letter to Klages dated February 14, MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis said Klages, during a September meeting with her gymnastics team, “shared with the team your highly emotional sense of shock regarding the allegations against Dr. Nassar” and that “your passionate defense of Dr. Nassar created an emotionally charged environment for the team.”

Shortly after Klages announced her retirement in early February, Klages released a statement through her attorney, Shirlee Bobryk. It said in part: (Kathie) “is deeply disturbed by the recent allegations and lawsuits” and that “she is extremely distressed by the accusations that have been made about her creating any sort of impediment to gymnasts reporting complaints of criminal sexual conduct or sexually inappropriate behavior.”

Attorney Mick Grewal with Church Wyble, a division of Grewal Law, represents more than a dozen of women and girls who are alleging Nassar sexually abused them. Boyce is one of them. He said this in an email statement this afternoon:

“Having worked on these files for over 3 months, our investigation has revealed the complete lack of integrity and honesty from MSU. They clearly failed to report any of the sexual assaults to the authorities, to CPS or even to parents of the minors. They failed to monitor Nassar once MSU implemented their so called restrictions in 2014. MSU created an atmosphere where more and more girls and woman were sexually assaulted by Nassar right under their nose.”

Because of the ongoing investigation into Nassar, Jason Cody, a university spokesman said the university is limited in what it can say but did relay this message: “I can tell you we take all allegations, raised either via victims reporting to police or by legal motions, very seriously. MSU Police are investigating all criminal allegations thoroughly, and any findings would be referred to the appropriate prosecutor for review.”

Nassar now faces more than 20 charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct at the state level. He’s also facing federal child pornography charges.

On top of the criminal cases, nearly 80 women in civil court are also suing him.

To date, MSU Police say more than 90 people have filed complaints against Nassar.

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

Nassar is due back in court for a preliminary hearing in Ingham County on May 12 and May 26.

The preliminary hearing in Eaton County has been set for June 30.

 

We welcome thoughts and comments from our viewers. We ask that everyone keep their remarks civil and respectful. Postings that contain profanity, racist, or potentially libelous remarks will be deleted. We will delete any commercial postings, as well.

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