Michigan State University Pays $500M To Larry Nassar's Victims

Brendan McDermid  Reuters

Michigan State University said Wednesday that it will pay $500 million to the 332 alleged victims of sexual abuse at the hands of former faculty member and sports team doctor Larry Nassar to end a barrage of civil claims filed against the university over the past year.

Former state Supreme Court justice Robert Young, who served as special counsel to MSU, weighed in on the agreement.

Trustee Brian Breslin says Michigan State recognizes the "need for change" when it comes to sexual assault awareness and prevention.

It's not clear how much each victim will receive, although the money will not be divided equally.

The lowering also reflects a belief that MSU's enrollment could drop, which means less money coming into the university. Any suggestion that the university engaged in a coverup is "simply false", a school statement said.

There will be no confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure agreements attached to the settlement, the press release said.

In 2015, several members of the US national gymnastics team told USAG about Nassar's intravaginal treatments, and he was quietly dropped as team doctor.

There have been closed door meetings between the survivors and lawyers for the university. Lawyers will also be compensated out of the $500 million pool.

Nassar pleaded guilty to molesting women and girls under the guise that he was treating them for injuries. He is serving three prison sentences that will likely keep him locked up for life.

At Nassar's sentencing hearing in January, Lemke had harshly criticized MSU, saying: "Michigan State University, shame on you...."

"I am pleased a settlement has been reached with the courageous young women whose lives have been impacted by this tragic situation".

University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar listens during the sentencing phase in Eaton County Circuit Court on Jan. 31 2018 in Charlotte Mich
Jeff Kowalsky AFP Getty Images

Nassar's assaults were mostly committed in MI at his Lansing-area home, campus clinic and area gyms.

Thomashow also said there was more work left to be done.

However, USAG did not alert Michigan State about the allegations, and Nassar continued to see patients until two women went public with their allegations of abuse in September 2016.

He counted on his charm and reputation to deflect any questions. They said Nassar would use a sheet or his body to block the parent's view. His clinic was decorated with signed photos of Olympic stars, bolstering his credentials to star-struck athletes and their families.

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.

Other cases involved participants in soccer, figure skating, rowing, softball, cheerleading, wrestling, diving, dance, and track and field.

"This historic settlement came about through the bravery of more than 300 women and girls who had the courage to stand up and refused to be silenced", Manly said in a statement.

The school has about 39,000 undergraduate students.

On the other side of the ledger, the university has $1.1 billion in outstanding debt. State and capital appropriations were valued at $338 million.

"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", Young said.

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