IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorneys representing more than 100 victims of alleged sexual assault by former MSU and Olympic Gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar, called the University's refusal to release the results of an internal investigation "a cover-up of the largest sexual abuse scandal in history."
In an interview with Michigan radio reporter Kate Wells, University officials stated that they are conducting "hundreds of interviews" and are reviewing "documents and emails" of University staff and administrators. They stated that this information will be presented to the University Board of Trustees but not to the public. In that same interview, University spokesman Jason Cody blamed the lack of public disclosure on Nassar's alleged victims who have filed lawsuits against the University.
"They want accountability," Cody said. "They want to know, 'Someone said this, that they told someone, is that true or not?'" But MSU can't answer those questions, he said because the university is battling dozens of lawsuits from Nassar's alleged victims.
"We're in the middle of litigation. That's just not something we're going to be able to discuss. We have to let the process play out."
"MSU's total lack of transparency and their continuing cover-up of misconduct by University administrators and staff has placed a dark cloud over Michigan State that can only be lifted by the sunshine of truth. An independent investigation by state and federal law enforcement is needed immediately or the people at MSU who knew of Nassar's conduct and failed to take action will never be held accountable," said victim's attorney John Manly.
According to published reports, MSU has paid the New York law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meager & Flom more than one million dollars to conduct the review. The University's refusal to make the results of this review public stands in stark contrast to the actions taken by Penn State University in response to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal in 2012.
"MSU is a public University and it has paid for this very expensive internal investigation with taxpayer money. The public has the right to the information that is uncovered. Even Penn State did that much," said Okemos, Michigan attorney James White who represents several alleged Nassar victims.
In the Penn State case, former FBI Director Louis Freeh released the results of his team's internal investigation of Penn State and published a complete report online. Former Penn State President Graham Spanier and two other high-ranking administrators were subsequently sentenced to jail for child endangerment.
"I was betrayed by Dr. Nassar and I am being betrayed by the administration at MSU. Blaming victims like myself for the University's failure to hold administrators and coaches accountable is just wrong," said Lindsey Lemke, a current member of MSU's gymnastics team and an alleged victim of Larry Nassar.
Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is California's leading law firm representing child victims of sexual abuse. The firm has represented more than 150 victims of clergy sexual abuse in California and hundreds of others throughout the United States. The firm also represented plaintiffs in the $140,000,000 settlement against LAUSD in the Miramonte case, the largest sex abuse settlement against a School District in the US.
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SOURCE Manly, Stewart & Finaldi