Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Michigan State University paying $500 million to settle claims against Nassar

First woman to publicly accuse Nassar reacts to MSU paying $500 million to survivors First woman to publicly accuse Nassar reacts to MSU paying $500 million to survivors
Lucia Summers | 17 May, 2018, 00:43

"It is the honest hope of all of the survivors that the legacy of this settlement will be far reaching institutional reform that will end the threat of sexual assault in sports, schools and throughout our society", attorney John Manly, who represents numerous victims, said in a statement.

Michigan State University students will help pay a $500 million settlement for victims of Larry Nassar, a former professor and sports doctor who sexually abused hundreds of young girls.

The settlement will pay US$425 million to the 332 girls and women who have come forward to date, averaging about US$1.28 million per victim.

Nassar treated campus athletes and scores of young gymnasts at his Michigan State office, building an worldwide reputation while working at the same time for USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. "It is the honest hope of all of the survivors that the legacy of this settlement will be far reaching institutional reform that will end the threat of sexual assault in sports, schools and throughout our society".

He was sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges, 40 to 175 years in prison on sexual assault charges and 40 to 125 years in prison on additional sexual assault charges.

Part of the settlement includes setting aside $75 million in the event of future lawsuits regarding Nassar's abuse.

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"I'm very happy that we're done with litigation", said former gymnast Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual abuse more than 18 months ago. He built an worldwide reputation while working at the same time for USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

Lindsey Lemke said the money from the settlement would go toward counseling and therapy. Lawsuits are still under way against USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee.

"We appreciate the hard work both sides put into the mediation, and the efforts of the mediator, which achieved a result that is responsible and equitable".

The deal surpasses the $100 million-plus paid by Penn State University to settle claims by at least 35 people who accused assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse, though the Nassar deal involves far more victims.

Lindsey Lemke, a former MSU gymnast, said she hoped the settlement would bring what she has called long-overdue change in how the university responds to abuse claims. You created the type of environment where victims were afraid to speak up. But the university cleared him repeatedly and in 2014, said those alleging sexual assault had mistaken proper medical treatment for sexual assault. They said they had little choice to see doctors other than Nassar, who was renowned throughout the sport. Roughly $983 million comes from tuition and fees, and $281 million is from the state.

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