Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Laurence Reese

Michigan State University Reaches $500 Million Settlement With Nassar Abuse Victims

Michigan State University Reaches $500 Million Settlement With Nassar Abuse Victims

The lawyers' statement does not address how the money will be allocated to each of Nassar's accusers.

The ESPN awards show honors the past year's best athletes and moments in sports. They said the sports doctor molested them while they sought treatment for injuries.

Nassar pleaded guilty to sexually abusing scores of gymnasts he examined in his capacity as a doctor for the US gymnastics team and Michigan State athletes.

The settlement applies to only Michigan State University and MSU individuals sued in the litigation. A message seeking comment was left for Strampel's lawyer. "Those who spoke at the many days of sentencing remain in my thoughts every day, and their strength is an inspiration to us all", said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Victims can speak openly about their cases and how much each gets because there's no confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement.

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"Michigan State is pleased that we have been able to agree in principle on a settlement that is fair to the survivors of Nassar's crimes", said Robert Young, special counsel to MSU.

University officials maintain they were ignorant of Nassar's abusive behavior until media outlets began running victims' stories in 2016. Lawsuits against USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and others continue to move forward, per the Times report.

Former gymnast Rachael Denhollander was the first woman to come forward publicly with accusations of Nassar, with co-accuser Jamie Dantzscher, a 2000 Olympic bronze medalist, disclosing her identity months later. She says she is also disappointed that a resolution hasn't been reached with other organizations such as USA Gymnastics. "It was always about shifting culture from enabling abuse to empowering survivors", she said.

The investigation led to the arrest of William Strampel, Nassar's boss at the university's College of Osteopathic Medicine, on charges of felony misconduct in office and misdemeanor criminal sexual conduct.

MSU paid nine law firms more than $11 million to defend the university in the lawsuits from the women and girls, according to documents the university released to the Lansing State Journal in response to public records requests.

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In a statement, Brian Breslin, chairman of MSU's Board of Trustees says the school recognizes "the need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention".

Nassar is now being held in federal jail and will likely remain there for the rest of his life.

A 2014 investigation conducted by Michigan State cleared Nassar of sexual assault allegations.

Nassar pleaded responsible to assaulting victims along with his palms below the guise of therapy. Nassar himself was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison, and then an additional 40 to 125 years, in February, after already having been sentenced to 60 years for a separate charge back in December. He had an global reputation while working at the same time for USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

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