Case Report Shows Systematic Failure at Michigan State LED to Further Larry Nassar Terror
By Dan Wetzel
December 20, 2017
|Dr. Larry Nassar, 54, has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges and faces further sentencing for sexual assault. (AP)|
The need for a single, powerful law enforcement agency to fully investigate all aspects of Larry Nassar’s reign of terror is reaffirmed with each new detail in this sick, sordid scandal.
The Department of Justice. The FBI. A state attorney general’s office that’s truly committed, the way Pennsylvania was in not just convicting former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky on 45 counts of molestation, but jailing his administrative enablers also.
So far everything has been patch-work, slow and inefficient. Nassar, 54, is serving 60 years after being sentenced this month on federal child pornography charges. He still faces additional state prison time after pleading guilty to sexual assault. And in all likelihood, he will never see the outside of a prison again for a sexual abuse scandal that on scale is exponentially greater than Sandusky.
The fog of confusion, however, will only increase until there are true investigations into Michigan State, where he worked, the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, where he volunteered and, Twistars Gymnastics Club, the Lansing-area operation with which he associated.
Wednesday brought word that in 2016, USA Gymnastics paid gold medal winner McKayla Maroney a reported $1.25 million to not publicly mention that she was abused by Nassar. It is a vomit-inducing revelation about the USAG, an organization that grew rich off the talents of young female athletes. Anyone with even cursory knowledge of it should resign immediately.
The news came not via law enforcement, though, but a civil suit filed in Los Angeles. Maroney previously chose to break the non-disclosure and detail Nassar’s attacks on social media and in a court-filed victim impact statement. The suit argues such agreements are illegal in California, where Maroney lived. Her attorney explained she made the deal only because she was, at the time, suicidal due to the trauma.
“She couldn’t function,” attorney John Manly told ESPN. “She couldn’t work. [The USGA was] willing to sacrifice the health and well-being of one of the most famous gymnasts in the world because they didn’t want the world to know they were protecting a pedophile doctor.”
The civil suit continues a trend in this vast and terrible story. The truth has come not from official investigative channels, none of which stopped Nassar. Every report, review and administrator failed the victims, either via incompetence, disorganization or, perhaps, worse.
The first alleged complaint about Nassar came in 1997, when a 16-year-old gymnast says she told MSU’s head gymnastics coach. Yet Nassar wasn’t busted until 2016, thanks to the investigative journalism of the Indianapolis Star which wrote about USA Gymnastics’ failure to report complaints of sexual assault. That story led two gymnasts to contact the paper about Nassar. After publication of that subsequent story, the floodgates opened, with some 125-woman contacting a police tip line.
Then he was finally fired. Soon, child porn was uncovered on Nassar’s computer and he gave up the fight.
Prior to that, everything was an exercise in institutional failure. Multiple alleged reports to MSU coaches and trainers went nowhere. One police investigation turned up nothing. Strange conduct by Nassar, from seeing patients at his home to joking that his Facebook page was taken down because he had too many young girls as friends, were suspicions that escaped true action.
This week, a 19-page report was made public detailing interviews conducted by MSU police, with an FBI agent in tow, of Michigan State officials. It shows a brutal lacking of leadership, common sense and communication.