Skubick: Michigan Attorney General to launch probe of MSU, Nassar

FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, file photo, Dr. Larry Nassar listens to testimony of a witness during a preliminary hearing, in Lansing, Mich. The former sports doctor at Michigan State University who specialized in treating gymnasts has been charged with sexual assault. Dr. Nassar was charged Wednesday, Feb. 22, in two Michigan counties. Online records show he's facing nine charges in Ingham county, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct against a victim under age 13. Nassar had a clinic at Michigan State, where he treated members of the gymnastics team and younger regional gymnasts. (Robert Killips/Lansing State Journal via AP, File)

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will launch an investigation into a sexual assault scandal at Michigan State University. That’s according to 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick.

The probe would involve the situation surrounding Larry Nassar, a former doctor at MSU and for USA Gymnastics. Nassar has been accused by more than 140 women and girls of sexually abusing them under the guise of treatment.

Nassar has pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges in Ingham and Eaton Counties and to federal child pornography charges. The civil lawsuit, which involves more than 100 people, names Nassar and MSU among the defendants.

The word, according to Skubick, is this is not a matter of “if” Schuette will conduct a probe, it’s a matter of “when.” No announcement is imminent, but work behind the scenes to lay the ground for the formal announcement is now underway.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office told 6 News would only say “we are still reviewing and determining next steps.”

Many people, from attorneys to politicians to the university’s fan base, want to know what officials at MSU knew and when they knew it.

MSU claims that it knew nothing about sexual assault accusations against Nassar except for a lone 2014 complaint. The school set guidelines for Nassar’s treatment of patients after the 2014 event. MSU fired Nassar in 2016 after the story broke and after Nassar admitted not following the guidelines.

MSU’s claims run counter to the claims of several women and girls who say they told MSU coaches, trainers, and a counselor at various times over the years.

An attorney hired by MSU to investigate the university’s response to the Nassar scandal says he found no evidence of a cover up. He said that after Schuette asked MSU to provide him with a report of their findings. While offering to brief Schuette, the attorney said no such report exists.

Still, the university’s response has prompted politicians – including the Republican speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Tom Leonard and former Ingham County prosecutor/current Democratic candidate for governor Gretchen Whitmer to call on MSU President Lou Anna Simon to resign in the wake of the controversy.

Leonard is also running for Attorney General to replace the term-limited Schuette, a Republican who is also running for governor.

Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison on the federal child pornography charges. His sentencing hearings for the sexual assaults in Ingham and Eaton counties will take place in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned to 6 News as we continue to follow this developing story.

 

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