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Larry Nassar was sentenced earlier this year to a lengthy prison sentence for sexual abuse

Michigan State University agrees to pay $500 million to doctor's sexual assault victims

Hundreds of women and girls who were sexually assaulted by former MSU faculty member Larry Nassar had sued the university.

Michigan State University will pay $500 million to hundreds of women and girls who say former faculty member Larry Nassar sexually assaulted them.

The Lansing State Journal reports that the university has agreed to a settlement with the victims, gymnasts who contended in multiple lawsuits that the university and others failed to protect them from Nassar's sexual abuse.

A portion of the settlement — $75 million — will be held back in case more lawsuits are filed against MSU over Nassar. 

"Michigan State has shown leadership by its willingness to begin closing this dark chapter," says Jamie White, one of the attorneys for victims. "The victims of Nassar can never be made whole but this is a step in the right direction."

Nassar was a faculty member at the university's College of Osteopathic Medicine until MSU fired him in September 2016. He worked for years with USA Gymnastics, designated by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the national governing body for the sport.

The university has paid nine law firms more than $11.3 million to represent it and its current and former employees in the civil litigation and state and federal investigations related to Nassar’s crimes.

Sexual assault claims against Nassar were first made public by the Indianapolis Star in September 2016.

Since then, hundreds of women and girls have said Nassar sexually assaulted them, in most instances during medical appointments. Many say it happened at Michigan State in East Lansing, but also at Twistars gymnastics club in Dimondale, Mich., Nassar’s home in Holt, Mich., or at USA Gymnastics-sponsored events.

Nassar pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges and sexual assault charges.

He is serving a 60-year federal prison sentence on three child pornography charges. He was also sentenced to decades in prison on 10 sexual assault charges in state courts.

In the aftermath of Nassar's sentencing hearing earlier this year, where 156 victims delivered impact statements in court, MSU president Lou Anna K. Simon resigned under pressure.

 

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