MSU fires doctor facing sexual assault allegations

EAST LANSING, MICH. -  A Michigan State University doctor facing a growing chorus of sexual assault allegations has been fired by the university, officials confirmed today.

Dr. Larry Nassar, an associate professor in MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine who served as USA Gymnastics' team physician during four Olympic Games, had been relieved of clinical and patient duties on Aug. 30.

Late last week, the university initiated the process to end Nassar's fixed-term appointment. He was formally fired Tuesday, said university spokesman Jason Cody.

"Over the past week, the university received additional information that raised serious concerns about Nassar’s compliance with certain employment requirements," he said.

Matt Newburg, Nassar's attorney, acknowledged his client's termination but declined to comment.

The university has received "multiple" new allegations of sexual assault by Nassar since last week, Cody said, but would not disclose how many.

Nassar was the subject of a misconduct complaint involving another alleged victim in 2014. That complaint was brought by a recent female MSU graduate and alleging "abuse during a medical procedure."

The university investigated the complaint but did not find a violation of MSU policy, Cody said. After its 2014 investigation, the university referred police reports to Stuart Dunnings III, who was the Ingham County prosecuting attorney at the time. His office declined to file charges.

Dunnings, who resigned from office in July and pleaded guilty Aug. 2 to prostitution-related charges, declined to comment last week through an attorney when asked how his office handled the 2014 case review.

"There were certain performance requirements put into place after the 2014 investigation," Cody said. "Information was received that those requirements were not consistently met."

"Additionally," he continued, "the university learned Nassar was not forthcoming when questioned about other previous allegations during the initial 2014 investigation."

Cody would not specify what the requirements were, citing the university's ongoing investigation.

Nassar's termination does not affect ongoing investigations by MSU Police and MSU’s Office of Institutional Equity of allegations of sexual abuse, he said.

Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney Gretchen Whitmer said last week that a "handful" of people who say they were victims of Nassar have contacted her since a story was published in the Indianapolis Star and Lansing State Journal detailing the accounts of two women who allege the doctor sexually abused them.

"As soon as publicity was given to this, more people have reached out," she said.

Whitmer said she can't say if she's confident Dunnings' office made the right decision in 2014 until she reviews all the details of the case. She released a report in July in which she said Dunnings' alleged wrongdoings did not infect the office or the cases it worked on. Whitmer said her review did not include the 2014 case.

When asked if the 2014 case has been reopened, Whitmer told the State Journal last week, "everything is being looked at."

Lansing State Journal


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