Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Michigan State University Reaches $500 Million Settlement With Nassar Abuse Victims

Michigan State University Reaches $500 Million Settlement With Nassar Abuse Victims

"This historic settlement came about through the bravery of more than 300 women and girls who had the courage to stand up and refuse to be silenced", said John Manly, one of several attorneys representing victims, in a statement. "It is the honest hope of all of the survivors that the legacy of this settlement will be far-reaching institutional reform that will end the threat of sexual assault in sports, schools and throughout our society".

The deal surpasses the more than $109 million that Penn State University paid to settle claims by at least 35 people that assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had sexually abused boys, though the Nassar settlement involves far more victims.

Kaylee Lorincz, who spoke about Nassar's abuse in court, had a mixed reaction to the settlement. Nassar was convicted of multiple sex crimes after hundreds of women claimed he sexually abused them under the guise of medical care. He was then arrested in November 2016 on charges of child pornography. This is about justice for the survivors; each of the women who came forward deserve justice. Nassar was employed as a sports physician at the university from 1997 to 2016. The school was accused of ignoring or dismissing complaints for years about Nassar. Yet even as school officials allowed him to return to treating patients, the school's Title IX coordinator called his methods a "liability" that exposed patients to unnecessary trauma.

The Nassar case is the nation's biggest case of serial sexual abuse based on the number of victims. Any suggestion that the university engaged in a coverup is "simply false", a school statement said.

The Huffington Post talked with a spokesperson from Michigan State, who said MSU would not speak on behalf of Strampel, but said that John Engler, MSU's interim president, began the process of terminating Strampel's employment in February. John Engler, the former MI governor, was named the interim president by the board of trustees.

MSU Trustee Dianne Byrum had this to say after the settlement was reached, "I am pleased a settlement has been reached with the courageous young women whose lives have been impacted by this tragic situation". The lowering also reflects a belief that MSU's enrollment could drop, which means less money coming into the university.

In addition to the complaint, Strampel is facing a felony charge of misconduct in office, a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty.

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S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Ashley Ramchandani said previously that pending investigations into MSU, along with lots of turnover in senior leadership, prompted the firm to lower its outlook on MSU to negative.

The settlement drew mixed reviews from those abused by Nassar.

"I am pleased a settlement has been reached with the fearless young women whose lives have been impacted by this tragic situation". "But I also think there is so much more work to be done at that university and universities across the country". "It has only just begun".

Many questions remain about the nature of the settlement, including where the money will come from.

"This has been a very long and exhausting road, especially for those who have been so vocal from the very beginning of this case", she said.

"We are truly sorry to all the survivors and their families for what they have been through, and we admire the courage it has taken to tell their stories", said Brian Breslin, chairman of Michigan State's governing board.

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