EAST LANSING, MICH. - Attorneys representing more than 80 women and girls who say Larry Nassar sexually assaulted them are challenging a judge's order limiting what they and their clients can say publicly about the case.
The challenge, filed in federal court in Grand Rapids, comes less than a week after Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina signed an order that, among other things, barred "all current and potential witnesses" and their attorneys from releasing any information not already contained in a public court file or commenting publicly on Nassar's guilt or innocence.
On Tuesday, the order was challenged by three law firms and three women who say Nassar sexually assaulted them.
"Under the U.S. Constitution and federal law, the gag order represents a classic example of an unconstitutional prior restraint on First Amendment protected speech," attorneys wrote in the brief. "There has been no identification of a specific serious and imminent threat by plaintiffs to the fairness and integrity of the underlying criminal matter."
Nassar, 53, of Holt, faces 28 criminal charges split between state and federal courts.
Aquilina's order was signed in a circuit court case with three sexual assault charges, and Nassar's attorneys were expected to seek similar orders in the cases currently in district courts for Ingham and Eaton counties.
Aquilina declined to comment.
Nassar worked for decades at Michigan State University and with USA Gymnastics. The university fired him in September, and he left USA Gymnastics in fall 2015 with little notice.
More than 90 women and girls have filed lawsuits in state and federal courts against MSU, USA Gymnastics and Nassar, saying the doctor sexually assaulted them and the organizations didn't do enough to protect them.
Lansing State Journal