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Michigan State to pay $500 million to Nassar sex abuse victims

17 May 2018

Michigan State University has complied with a $500 million settlement that involves hundreds of women and girls who contend gymnastics coach Larry Nassar sexually assaulted them, per the Lansing State Journal.

The deal calls for the university to pay $425m to the 332 victims represented in the current litigation, with another $75m set aside in a trust fund, which could go to future plaintiffs who allege they were abused by Nassar. The school will pay $425 million now and hold $75 million in reserve in case other Nassar victims come forward.

Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault, listens to victims impact statements during his sentencing in the Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte, Michigan, U.S., January 31, 2018.

Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison on the child porn charges, and up to 175 years on sex abuse charges. Alison Overholt, an ESPN vice president, says the women and girls who spoke out about how Nassar sexually abused them have shown "what it truly means to speak truth to power". Many of them gave emotional testimony during Nassar's sentencing hearings.

The university and lawyers for 332 victims announced the deal after negotiating privately with the help of a mediator.

The MSU board issued a separate statement in which it apologized to the victims and their families, while also acknowledging the "need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention".

The attorneys stressed that the settlement, which was agreed to by the university's board of trustees late on Tuesday, was still not final.

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Olympic gold medalists Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney say they were among Nassar's victims.

The US Department of Education is also investigating the public university's handling of reports of Nassar's abuse.

Denhollander was the first survivor to file a criminal complaint against Larry Nassar back in 2016.

He handled campus athletes and scores of younger gymnasts at his Michigan State workplace. "However, I am deeply disappointed at the missed opportunity for meaningful reform and change at the University". He had an worldwide reputation and worked at the same time for USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

Attorney David Mittleman, who represents numerous victims, says that there are now no dates scheduled for further negotiations with Twistars, USAG, or USOC, and that he has not seen the same motivation to come to a settlement from these other parties.

The Michigan State settlement is only part of several more ongoing legal battles related to Nassar.

Michigan State to pay $500 million to Nassar sex abuse victims