Nassar lawsuits heading to mediation

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WLNS) – Federal lawsuits against Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and others related to a doctor accused of molesting dozens of athletes are moving into a mediation phase that could lead to a settlement.

The charges are related to former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

The 90-day mediation period was agreed to today by 18 attorneys at a hearing in Grand Rapids on Wednesday.

Nine of those attorneys represent the more than 115 women and girls who say Nassar sexually assaulted them.

An attorney representing MSU says it agreed to mediation to expedite the case.

John Manly is one of three attorneys who represent nearly 90 women who say Nassar sexually abused them.

In a statement Wednesday, he said the following:

“USA Gymnastics says in public that it’s highest priority is the protection of child athletes, then sends its lawyers into court to argue for its right to hide child sex abuse settlements from the public. This clearly demonstrates the hypocrisy of this organization and it’s current leadership.

More than 125 young women and girls have demonstrated the courage to come forward and shed light on this horrific scandal . A just resolution of their cases should include  three key components:

  • Policy changes at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics that ensure this type of abuse can never happen again;
  • Disclosure of the documents in the case, so the victims and public can have confidence in the transparency of organizations charged with protecting young people;
  • A fair financial settlement that reflects what a jury would reward victims.”

Meanwhile, Nassar will be sentenced on November 27th in federal court after pleading guilty last month to three child pornography charges in an unrelated case.

Nassar faces nearly two dozen additional charges in both Ingham and Eaton County.

His accusers say he used his hands inappropriately during what they thought was medical treatment.

The former MSU doctor maintains his innocence in those cases and says the treatments he performed on his patients are accepted medical techniques.

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