- A new report from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office says disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar believes the decades of abuse he perpetrated was not criminal.
- Independent special counsel Bill Forsyth wrote in the report that Nassar was “defiant” and “unrepentant” in interviews with investigators, insisting his treatments were medical, not for his own pleasure.
- Forsyth also wrote that Michigan State University, Nassar’s former employer, had “stonewalled” the investigation, denying access to documents and drowning investigators in “irrelevant” material to hamper the investigation and protect its reputation.
- Nassar’s defiant attitude echoes an assertion made by the judge in his January sentencing that he was “manipulative” and that his seemingly shallow apology to his victims showed that he did not “get it.”
A new report from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office says disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar believes the decades of abuse he perpetrated was not criminal and should be handled as medical malpractice.
The report was an update on an investigation into Michigan State University’s handling of allegations against Nassar by independent special counsel Bill Forsyth, which describes Nassar as “defiant” and “unrepentant.”
“It immediately became clear that his statements of remorse in the courtroom were a farce,” the report says, referring to an apology statement Nassar read in court.
In an interview with an investigator after his sentencing, Nassar said he pleaded guilty to multiple sexual assault charges only “because he lost his support from the medical community and his patients after the police discovered reams of child pornography in his possession.”
The report also says Nassar remained adamant that all of his “treatment” was “done for a medical purpose, not for his own pleasure.”
Nassar was sentenced in January to up to 175 years in prison for the sexual-assault charges.
More than 100 women gave victim-impact statements in January about the assault and molestation they said Nassar committed. Nassar was previously sentenced to 60 years in prison for child-pornography charges in December 2017.
A letter presented by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina at Nassar’s sentencing in which he insisted his treatments on girls were medical, not sexual. He also criticised the attorney general in the case and Aquilina, writing “Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn,” over the case.
Aquilina said the letter proved that Nassar did not “get it.” Aquilina called Nassar “manipulative,” saying he knew he had a problem and did not distance himself from the situation.
“Sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again,” Aquilina said.
The university is stonewalling investigators
Forsyth also said in the report that Michigan State University, Nassar’s former employer, fought the release of certain relevant documents and instead drowned investigators in “irrelevant” documents, hampering the investigation.
Instead of providing relevant materials to determine who knew about Nassar’s abuse, the school supplied the “Bed Bug Management-Infection Control Policy,” various restaurant coupons, and “seemingly endless” duplicates of emails with news articles.
The report says the university continues to foster “a culture of indifference toward sexual assault, motivated by its desire to protect its reputation.”
MSU released a statement in response to the report.
“We are extraordinarily sorry that Larry Nassar was on our campus and has hurt so many people,” the statement reads. “The university is engaged in — and investing in — an intense reform and cultural change effort to ensure that Michigan State University is a safe campus for students, faculty, staff and our community.”
The statement also pointed out that no new charges were announced in the report, saying “We appreciate the attorney general’s investigation and the hard work of the many people involved.”
The report concludes the failures at the school are of “people, not policy,” as employees that heard of allegations against Nassar “downplayed its seriousness or affirmatively discouraged the survivors from proceeding with their allegation.”
The investigation has already led to criminal charges against three additional former MSU employees. Former MSU gymnastics coach Kathie Klages, former MSU Dean of Osteopathic Medicine William Strampel, and former MSU President Lou Anna Simon.
The investigation is ongoing.
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