Police didn't heed Nassar complaint in 2004 but paid for victim's flight to speak Tuesday

Nassar survivor had her flight to attend the sentencing by the police dept. who once didn't believe her claims

The same police department that declined to take a 17-year-old girl’s concerns about Larry Nassar to prosecutors in 2004 paid for her flight from Seattle to Michigan so she could speak at Nassar’s sentencing hearing Tuesday.

Brianne Randall, who reported Nassar to Meridian Township police in 2004, confronted Nassar while delivering her victim impact statement.

“Mr. Nassar, do I look familiar to you?” Randall asked. “Do you recognize my name?”

Randall’s complaints prompted one of the first criminal investigations of Nassar in 2004.

After an appointment with Nassar, Randall told her parents that he had touched her vagina without telling her in advance and grabbed her breast for several minutes. Her parents contacted police.

Randall, whose case has since been reopened, said in court Tuesday that she was 17 at the time of the assault.

“I reported you to police immediately and had a rape kit done,” Randall said. “The police questioned you and you had the audacity to tell them I misunderstood the treatment because I was not comfortable with my body.”

Police believed Nassar over Randall, Randall said, and the investigation apparently ended there.

Meridian Township Manager Frank Walsh confirmed the township paid for Randall’s flight to Michigan. He said the ticket cost about $1,385.

“We wanted her to be able to share her pain with other survivors in front of Nassar,” Walsh said. “We share her pain."

“It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time in deference to the court and the other survivors,” Walsh said. He added that the township may be able to comment further in the future.  

Police Chief Dave Hall, who was acting chief at the time, has said the case was never sent to prosecutors. Hall attended the sentencing hearing Tuesday.

Hall said the case had been assigned to one of Meridian Township's four investigators, but the department had no specialized unit for sexual assault or crimes against children. He said during a meeting with Nassar and Randall's parents Nassar explained that what he did to Brianne Randall was medically appropriate.

Contact Reporter Beth LeBlanc at 517-377-1167 or eleblanc@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @LSJBethLeBlanc.

© 2018 WZZM-TV


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