OKEMOS, Mich. (WLNS) – As of Thursday, there are more than 260 women and girls who have reported sexual abuse by Larry Nassar, to law enforcement.
But not all of those reports are new.
In fact, a 17-year-old girl reported the former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor to Meridian Township Police back in 2004, saying he sexually assaulted her during a medical appointment.
On Thursday, Township Manager Frank Walsh and Police Chief Dave Hall, publicly apologized to that girl, who is now a grown woman.
Her name is Brianne Randall-Gay.
Fighting back tears, Walsh took to the podium and almost right away, offered an apology.
“We are sorry that we were manipulated and deceived back in 2004,” he said. “We failed you, we let you down..and I know we’ve had a lot of private conversations, private apologies, but we felt this needed to be done in public.”
As he wiped away tears, he also addressed members of the community and Randall-Gay’s family.
“I also want to apologize to Ellen, your mother, your mom has been through a lot and your brother matt and your husband,” Walsh said.
On Wednesday, the Meridian Township Police Department released the details of that 2004 report.
It says Randall-Gay told Meridian Township Police Detective Andrew McCready that she saw Nassar for her scoliosis, when he touched her private area and massaged her breasts for several minutes without wearing gloves.
A concern Randall-Gay’s mother also had, but that report was never forwarded to the Ingham County Prosecutors Office and the case was dropped.
“I was disappointed that there were no charges filed,” Randall-Gay said as she joined in on the news conference. She was listening in via Skype from her home in Seattle.
This apology is something that Brianne Randall-Gay said she had been waiting for, for the last 14 years.
“There’s no excuse for it, it just happened,” Walsh said. “It was a bad judgment call and we’re here because of it.”
Meridian Townsip Police Chief Dave Hall said the department is taking steps to make sure this never happens again.
Those includes: having more training for officers on how to handle sexual assault cases, conducting a comprehensive review of all criminal sexual conduct reports from the year 2000 until now and getting the community educated on how to recognize and report sexual assault.
“I can tell you, if it’s the last thing I can do in Meridian Twp., we’re going to work with Brianne and we’re going to become better in the community and we’re going to do things for many, many folks,” Walsh said.
During Nassar’s sentencing hearing in Ingham County, Meridian Township officials reached out to Randall-Gay to say they were sorry.
That phone conversation ultimately led Meridian Township officials to pay for Randall-Gay to travel to Michigan and face her perpetrator before he was sentenced.
A question was raised about a potential settlement between Randall and Meridian Township to help make up for all the pain and suffering this case has caused both Randall and her family.
At this time, Randall said she’s not thinking about that, but she’s hoping to use her story to help educate the community about sexual assault, by working hand-in-hand with police and the detective, who closed her case, to make sure this never happens again.