GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., March 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorneys representing 22 alleged victims of former Michigan State University physician, Dr. Larry Nassar, added 20 more alleged victims to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, Southern Division.
The Court has granted an additional 27 plaintiffs permission to join the federal lawsuit bringing the total number of plaintiffs to 69.
The lawsuit arises out of multiple incidents of alleged sexual assault, battery, molestation, and harassment of the women by Dr. Larry Nassar, an employee of Michigan State University from 1996 to as recently as 2016.
According to the complaint, from 1996 to 2016 Defendant Nassar allegedly sexually assaulted, abused, and molested Plaintiffs, most of whom were minors, through vaginal and anal digital penetration, without the use of gloves or lubricant and groped some of their breasts. The youngest of the 20 new plaintiffs was 9 years old at the time of the sexual assault. The victims participated in sports including gymnastics, basketball, cross-country, track and field, ballet, and tennis.
The Complaint alleges the assaults took place at Nassar's office at MSU, Jenison Fieldhouse at MSU, USAG sanctioned events, Twistar's, and Nassar's home.
"This appears to be one of the largest sexual abuse scandals in the history of amateur athletics. Many of these assaults took place after MSU acknowledged receiving sexual abuse complaints against Nassar in 2014. Others took place after USAG received similar complaints in 2015. This Complaint alleges that these organizations, as well as Twistars, continued to allow Nassar to have unfettered access to young women. This Complaint alleges that MSU, USAG, and Twistars failed to enforce their own policies against sexual harassment and assault, or had inadequate policies to combat sexual abuse," said attorney Stephen Drew, founding member of Grand Rapids based Drew, Cooper & Anding.
His partner, Adam Sturdivant added, "The women who are a part of this litigation seek institutional reform and accountability. We have heard the same message over and over again from the Plaintiffs and their families: they do not want anything like this to ever happen again. They want to protect the next generation of athletes, and they want those who shared in the decisions and who were responsible for the lack of oversight which permitted these acts to occur to be held accountable."
In November 2016, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette charged Nassar with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13. The charges allege that Nassar repeatedly assaulted a girl between 1998 and 2005, beginning when she was six-years-old.
In December 2016, Nassar was arrested on Federal child pornography charges. The two count indictment states that Nassar possessed "thousands of images of child pornography." FBI investigators found at least 37,000 images and videos of child pornography in his garbage. According to published reports, some videos show the doctor sexually assaulting girls under the age of 12
In February 2017, AG Schuette charged Nassar with 36 additional counts of criminal sexual conduct, including 22 first-degree counts and 13-third degree counts. The most recent state criminal charges are related to Nassar's work as a physician at MSU and his treatment of gymnasts at Twistars.
He remains in federal custody.
Drew, Cooper & Anding is a Grand Rapids Michigan based law firm specializing in personal injury, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, consumer protection, and complex commercial litigation.
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SOURCE Drew, Cooper & Anding