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Michigan State, victims of Larry Nassar reach $500 million settlement
17 May 2018, 12:40 | Sandy Nunez
Larry Nassar Survivors and Michigan State University announce they have successfully resolved existing litigation and agreed in principle to a $500 million global settlement
The settlement does not apply to other organisations still facing lawsuits over Nassar's abuse, including the United States Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and famed former Olympic coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi.
Survivors' attorney John Manly said, "This historic settlement came about through the bravery of more than 300 women and girls who had the courage to stand up and refuse to be silenced".
Survivor attorney John Manly said in a press release, "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". A successful resolution to the litigation is a positive step in moving us all forward.
"We are truly sorry to all the survivors and their families for what they have been through, and we admire the courage it has taken to tell their stories".
Trustee Brian Breslin says Michigan State recognizes the "need for change" when it comes to sexual assault awareness and prevention.
Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after he was convicted of abusing 140 girls and one boy while he was a sports physician at Michigan State University for almost two decades and as a doctor for the Olympic gymnastics team.
Nassar, 54, who is serving a federal prison sentence of 40 to 175 years in MI, had worked for decades with MSU students as well as U.S. Olympic gymnasts who alleged he abused them, including gold medalists Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney. More than 200 victims, including Maroney, spoke at his sentencing hearing. The victims certainly deserve this, given how Michigan State contributed to enabling Nassar, including the various alleged instances where school officials didn't believe accusations.
In 2014, the university determined that his "pelvic floor" treatments were medically legitimate, despite complaints. Those are the 332 sexual abuse survivors of Nassar. But she said she still has not seen any "meaningful reform" at the university.
Nassar was sacked from Michigan State in 2016, two years after he was the subject of a sexual assault investigation.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the university and find out who knew what, when and what they did about it.
Neither did it end a criminal inquiry of the university's actions with regard to Nassar's behaviour. Strampel has pleaded not guilty to the charges. "That being said, my investigation is still open and ongoing", Mr Forsyth said.
The settlement drew mixed reviews from those abused by Nassar.
Rachael Denhollander of Louisville, Kentucky, who in 2016 was the first woman to publicly identify herself as a victim, said the agreement "reflects the incredible damage which took place on MSU's campus".
"I think that it not only provides compensation to them for the injuries they've suffered, but I think it also sent an important message from the university that they are prepared to accept responsibility for their role in what's occurred", White said. "It has only just begun".
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