Boyce to MSU: “Show us what Spartans will do”

OKEMOS, MI (WLNS) – When Larissa Boyce first revealed her name and identity as one of Larry Nassar’s accusers back in March, she said she wanted Michigan State University to take ownership and make changes to its policies.

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

Her interview came at a time when more women and girls continued to come forward accusing Nassar of sexual abuse.

Nassar worked at MSU for more than two decades. He also served as the team doctor for USA Gymnastics.

In September of 2016, the Indianapolis Star reported on sexual assault allegations against Nassar and it opened the door to several lawsuits from women and girls who also said Nassar used his hands inappropriately during medical treatments.

The former MSU doctor now faces more than 20 first degree criminal sexual conduct charges in between Ingham and Eaton Counties. He has maintained his innocence in those cases.

He pled guilty to three child pornography charges in a federal case.

Boyce is now among the more than 130 women and girls who are part of a civil lawsuit that names MSU and USA Gymnastics as defendants.

Boyce said she’s speaking out again; this time, to send a message to MSU.

She believes the university’s handling of the Nassar scandal has been insensitive and wants its leaders to not only make changes to policies, but also follow them.

Boyce also said the university isn’t taking ownership like she hoped it would.

“We’re victims and we deserve answers,” she said. “There’s been only silence from MSU and I think that’s worse than saying just a little something..why haven’t they released the internal investigation? What are they hiding?”

And even if MSU makes more changes to its policies, Boyce said she has little faith they would be followed.

“They had a policy in place in 2014 and didn’t follow it, so even if they say they’re changing policies, are they going to follow it? That’s a huge question…are they going to make sure it’s regulated and actually followed?”

Boyce said she wants to know why the Michigan Attorney General isn’t investigating MSU.

“Why is this different than Penn State?” she said. “Why?”

MSU spokesman Jason Cody said the university is limited in what it can say due to pending litigation but released the following statement:

“MSU from the beginning has sought justice in the Larry Nassar case. As our president has said, we recognize the pain sexual violence causes and deeply regret any time someone in our community experiences it.”

Cody said MSU acknowledges the real courage for all victims of sexual violence who come forward to share their story with police or campus investigators.

“As the state and federal criminal charges facing Nassar show, his behavior was deeply disturbing and repugnant, and the responsibility for his actions is his alone. It was through the hard and diligent work of the MSU Police Department that Nassar is being brought to justice.”

Cody also pointed out a number of things MSU has done since it learned about the Nassar allegations last year.

They include the following:

-The university fired Nassar in 2016 after sexual assault allegations surfaced

– The ongoing criminal investigation by its police department has resulted in more than 20 state charges in two counties and contributed to the federal charges against Nassar

– All five of the formal Title IX complaints MSU has received, resulted in policy violations against Nassar

– The MSU HealthTeam has strengthened reinforced and centralized policies and protocols, including the role of chaperones and documentation of informed consent

External assurance review of the MSU HealthTeam

– The university has also contracted with two sports medicine physicians to conduct a comprehensive review of how health care is delivered to student athletes

– It also created a website called “Our Commitment” to showcase its efforts to combat sexual violence; the website offers many statements/letters from MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, Board of Trustees, the MSU Police Chief and more.