Report: Michigan State Employees Were Informed of Larry Nassar's Abuse in 1990s

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2018

Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar appears at Ingham County Circuit Court on November 22, 2017 in Lansing, Michigan.  
Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Lawrence (Larry) Nassar, accused of molesting dozens of female athletes over several decades, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Nassar -- who was involved with USA Gymnastics for nearly three decades and worked with the country's gymnasts at four separate Olympic Games -- could face at least 25 years in prison on the charges brought in Michigan.
 / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY        (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

(Warning: The following contains graphic descriptions that may be disturbing.)

Four Michigan State University athletes told Outside The Lines they informed coaches or trainers at the school about the "invasive methods" of former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar in the 1990s.

On Tuesday, John Barr and Dan Murphy of ESPN The Magazine provided findings from the OTL investigation, including comments from Tiffany Thomas Lopez, a Spartans softball player who spoke with three trainers and their supervisor, Destiny Teachnor-Hauk, about Nassar in 1998.

"I felt like they thought I was a liar," Thomas Lopez said. "She brushed me off, and made it seem like I was crazy. She made me feel like I was crazy."

Larissa Boyce, who participated in the Spartan Youth Gymnastics program under Michigan State gymnastics coach Kathie Klages, told OTL that Nassar digitally penetrated her "dozens of times" and Klages didn't believe her assertions about the treatment sessions.

"I said that he was putting his fingers inside of me...and that it was uncomfortable, and at that point she just said she couldn't believe that was happening...that was somebody she trusted and knew for years," Boyce said.

Current Spartans gymnast Lindsey Lemke explained to OTL that Klages passed a card around a team meeting in September 2016, after Nassar was fired, and asked they "sign it as a show of support for him."

Klages resigned from her position in February 2017 after being suspended in wake of the scandal.

A Michigan State spokesperson declined comment to OTL about the allegations citing the pending litigation.

Last month, Nassar received a 60-year sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography from 2003 to 2016 and destroying evidence while under investigation.

Lauren Gibbons of MLive.com noted he'll be sentenced this week on seven first-degree criminal sexual abuse charges for improper patient treatment. Around 88 victims or advocates are expected to speak during the court proceedings.

The report also pointed out he'll face a third sentencing Jan. 31 on three separate first-degree criminal sexual abuse charges.


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