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Larry Nassar Victims Spur Michigan Legislature to Pass Sexual Abuse Bills

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 15, 2018

Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar appears in court for his final sentencing phase in Eaton County Circuit Court on February 5, 2018 in Charlotte, Michigan. / AFP PHOTO / RENA LAVERTY        (Photo credit should read RENA LAVERTY/AFP/Getty Images)
RENA LAVERTY/Getty Images

Bills inspired by the Larry Nassar case passed through the Michigan Senate on Wednesday.

Per ESPN.com, the bills retroactively give victims of sexual abuse and accusers additional time to file a lawsuit, restrict governments from claiming immunity from lawsuits and require more people to report cases of suspected abuse to proper authorities.

The legislation, which has received "pushback from universities, governments, businesses and the Roman Catholic Church over the broader financial implications of facing an unknown number of suits for old claims," now moves to the Michigan House of Representatives for additional consideration.

Under the current laws in Michigan, people who are sexually abused as children generally have the right to sue up until their 19th birthday. The new bill proposes an additional one-year window for children abused in 1997 or later to file a lawsuit.

Michigan State interim president John Engler spoke with the Senate majority leader Wednesday "in favor of some of the legislation and asked the senators to hold off on voting on other bills until a more thorough fiscal analysis could be done to see what impact they might have."

Former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon announced her resignation and athletic director Mark Hollis resigned in January as fallout from the Nassar scandal.

Nassar previously worked as a sports doctor at Michigan State University and a physician for USA Gymnastics. He was sentenced to a minimum of 125 years in prison stemming from three different criminal cases. At least 260 women and girls said he sexually abused them.

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