Gymnasts Say Michigan Too Easy On Sex Predators; New Nassar Probe

Dearborn Patch

February 27, 2018

By Beth Dalbey

Education Department launches new Title IX probe on university’s handling of Nassar scandal as gymnasts say Michigan goes easy on predators.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is launching a Title IX investigation into Michigan State University’s handling of sexual abuse complaints against former sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar. DeVos announced the investigation Monday, the same day some Nassar abuse survivors — including 2012 Olympic gymnast and gold medalist Jordyn Wieber and Rachael Denhollander, the first gymnast to publicly accuse him — asked lawmakers in Michigan to pass sweeping reform of laws they say do little to stop child sex predators.

During Nassar’s recent sentencing hearings, many of the more than 265 girls and women who have accused him said Michigan State officials ignored repeated complaints that he was molesting them under the guise of medically necessary treatments. Repercussions have reverberated not only across Michigan State, but also USA Gymnastics, where Nassar was a team doctor for elite gymnasts, and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Public outcry also led to the resignation of Michigan State’s longtime president, Lou Anna K. Simon, in January. The NCAA, Michigan attorney general’s office and Congress also are investigating.

DeVos said the new investigation led by the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights will look at systemic issues in the university’s handling of the Nassar complaints and whether it was in compliance with Title IX federal requirements on the reporting of sexual crimes committed on college campuses. The Education Department already had open inquiries into MSU’s compliance with Title IX rules.

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