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Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics, and Michigan State : Sports Abuse Scandals

enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
edited February 18 in Debate and/or Discourse
Today is day three of an originally planned four day sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar. The sentencing hearing is being extended into next week because thus far 105 women have requested to give statements that he molested them while he was supposed to be treating them as a doctor for USA Gymnastics, Michigan State's athletic department, or in his private practice. He was previously convicted on federal charges of child pornography, including making some of him molesting his victims. He has been sentenced to 60 years for those crimes. He pled guilty in the state of Michigan on criminal sexual conduct charges and faces between 40 and 105 years of prison. He is also facing charges in Texas for alleged abuse at the Karolyi ranch, where Olympic gymnasts and Olympic hopefuls go to train. Prominent victims include McKayla Maroney (gold medalist team, silver in vault, meme generator extraordinaire), Gabby Douglas (two time team gold medalist, individual gold in 2012), Aly Raisman (two time USA team captain at the Olympics, double team gold, individual bronze 2012 and silver 2016), and Simone Biles (individual gold in 2016, generally recognized as the best all-time among women).

The uncovering of his crimes dates back to an Indianapolis Star report in 2016. That got the ball rolling. At last count more than 150 women have come forward alleging he abused them.

There's a deeper issue here, which the Star got into with how USAG covers up systematic abuse of their athletes. A number of coaches and doctors were accused of sexual abuse and USAG failed to respond. This is especially troubling with women's gymnastics' emphasis on training from a very young age so many of the victims were too young to stand up for themselves and needed adults to supervise and step in. They did not.

Late breaking news as I wrote this though, USAG is finally cutting ties with the Karolyi Ranch where significant portions of Nassar's abuse of US Olympians/hopefuls took place. So Simone Biles (and in theory Raisman or Douglas, though at their mid 20s they will be ancient by women's gymnastics standards) will not have to return to the scene of the assaults to train for Tokyo 2020.

The other major institution to fail utterly was Michigan State University. As this was the Michigan portion of the trial, a lot of the victim statements we've been hearing over the last three days are from MSU students, especially MSU athletes. They were nearly universal in placing their blame on MSU, even those who graduated or played for the school. The most powerful was perhaps (there have been lots of powerful statements) former MSU gymnastics captain Lindsey Lemke (and still a student, injury ended her career). Today the State News, MSU's student newspaper, called for the University President to resign. Said President, Lou Anna Simon, has been atrocious during this scandal. Her worst moment, I think, was this one:
“virtually impossible to stop a determined sexual predator and pedophile."

So they didn't try. The Detroit News had a report this morning that indicates 14 different MSU employees were informed of Nassar's behavior over the course of 20 years, and nothing was ever done. The behavior of the former gymnastics coach, Kathie Klages, feels to me like it rises to criminal. Consistently covered up for her good friend Kathy, told her athletes they were wrong about what he was doing to them, and asked her team (including a number of victims, like Lemke) to sign a card in support of him when the story finally came out.

Four prominent Michigan lawmakers, including the Speaker of the House, and both the State Rep and Senate Senator representing East Lansing have also called on Simon to resign. Thus far the elected Board of Trustees has issued her votes of confidence. They gave her a $150,000 raise three weeks ago, though she was at least smart enough PR wise to turn it down and make it a scholarship. They even issued a vote of confidence for her today. They did set aside $10 million for a fund to pay victims, but given the number of victims (150+) and the lawsuits that will not be sufficient. Inevitably taxpayers will foot the bill. Two members have their eight year terms expire this year and are up for re-election in November. They are Brian Breslin (son of Jack Breslin, for whom the basketball arena on campus is named) and Mitch Lyons (EDIT: I forgot, he's the Trustee who OUTED A WHISTLEBLOWER IN A DIFFERENT SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE). So if you're in Michigan vote against those jackasses.

MSU needs to clean house, and the only ones demonstrating leadership on campus are the victims and the student newspaper. That's embarrassing.

This is probably the worst sports scandal in American history and certainly in recent American history. It dwarfs the Sandusky scandal, which a number of people thought should have caused Penn State to be shut down in its entirety.

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Posts

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    This is a good twitter feed to follow for accounts of the victim's statements:

    https://twitter.com/kimberkoz

    ALL OF THE TRIGGER WARNINGS, obviously

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    What’s MSUs motivation for keeping Nassar around after the complaints they received?

    Sheer stupidity and/or laziness? Was it the adjacent prestige because he was the nat team doctor?

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    What’s MSUs motivation for keeping Nassar around after the complaints they received?

    Sheer stupidity and/or laziness? Was it the adjacent prestige because he was the nat team doctor?

    Prestige, as well as it was just women making the complaints. There have been a number of scandals in academia as of late where abusive men were protected because of their reputation.

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  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Is it really that hard not to sexually abuse people?

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
    mRahmaniV1m
  • quovadis13quovadis13 Registered User regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    Is it really that hard not to sexually abuse people?

    Is it the authority and power these higher level positions afford you that enables this awful predatory type of behaviour or is it people with predatory personalities that seek out these positions? All these stories about men in power abusing their power so easily seem so foreign to how I think and who I am as a person that I wonder how my career will play out.

    Basically, will I miss out on better job opportunities because I am not a giant asshole or will I get them and then turn into one?

    Heffling
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited January 19
    quovadis13 wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    Is it really that hard not to sexually abuse people?

    Is it the authority and power these higher level positions afford you that enables this awful predatory type of behaviour or is it people with predatory personalities that seek out these positions? All these stories about men in power abusing their power so easily seem so foreign to how I think and who I am as a person that I wonder how my career will play out.

    Basically, will I miss out on better job opportunities because I am not a giant asshole or will I get them and then turn into one?

    The vast majority of people in these positions do not victimize children and the powerless. (Discussions on how authority and social structures enable those who do is something separate). But yes, the ability to victimize without repercussion is certainly something those who want it are aware of.

    Fencingsax on
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  • LostNinjaLostNinja Registered User regular
    What’s MSUs motivation for keeping Nassar around after the complaints they received?

    Sheer stupidity and/or laziness? Was it the adjacent prestige because he was the nat team doctor?

    Prestige, as well as it was just women making the complaints. There have been a number of scandals in academia as of late where abusive men were protected because of their reputation.

    Conversely, I don’t get why USAG protected him? They were losing talented athletes because of his evil.

    For years I (and probably everyone else) always wondered why athletes would retire when they were young enough to try and make another run (Maroney being an example). I always just assumed it was fatigue since they had trained for their entire lives, but this whole case has put a much darker spin on that.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    What’s MSUs motivation for keeping Nassar around after the complaints they received?

    Sheer stupidity and/or laziness? Was it the adjacent prestige because he was the nat team doctor?

    Prestige, as well as it was just women making the complaints. There have been a number of scandals in academia as of late where abusive men were protected because of their reputation.

    It turns out when you make college athletics super super important and profitable, a lot of people are willing to cover for you raping children as long as the wins and medals keep rolling in. Which should be in no way surprising.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    What’s MSUs motivation for keeping Nassar around after the complaints they received?

    Sheer stupidity and/or laziness? Was it the adjacent prestige because he was the nat team doctor?

    Prestige, as well as it was just women making the complaints. There have been a number of scandals in academia as of late where abusive men were protected because of their reputation.

    It turns out when you make college athletics super super important and profitable, a lot of people are willing to cover for you raping children as long as the wins and medals keep rolling in. Which should be in no way surprising.

    This isn't a profit thing. At MSU only football and basketball are profitable.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    JaysonFour
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Again, he was a big name in that community. Saying they had him was a pull. He cultivated that reputation, it was part of his strategy.

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
    shryke
  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    Michigan State needs to be nailed to the wall on this, but I have no faith in the NCAA after they screwed the pooch on making Penn State accountable for the Sandusky coverup.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    What’s MSUs motivation for keeping Nassar around after the complaints they received?

    Sheer stupidity and/or laziness? Was it the adjacent prestige because he was the nat team doctor?

    Prestige, as well as it was just women making the complaints. There have been a number of scandals in academia as of late where abusive men were protected because of their reputation.

    It turns out when you make college athletics super super important and profitable, a lot of people are willing to cover for you raping children as long as the wins and medals keep rolling in. Which should be in no way surprising.

    This isn't a profit thing. At MSU only football and basketball are profitable.

    It doesn't have to be both. Prestige is more then enough.

    FencingsaxGnome-Interruptus
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Heffling wrote: »
    Is it really that hard not to sexually abuse people?

    No. And most of them don't.

    The problem is never really the massive amount of sexual predators, it's the way people on a cultural, community and institutional level cover for them. So that they can keep molesting people for years and years and years.

    FencingsaxMegaMekBlackDragon480Gnome-Interruptus
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    knitdan wrote: »
    Michigan State needs to be nailed to the wall on this, but I have no faith in the NCAA after they screwed the pooch on making Penn State accountable for the Sandusky coverup.

    That'll be up to the federal courts. Under a better administration, also the Department of Education's Title IX enforcement arm, but... Betsy DeVos.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
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  • LabelLabel Registered User regular
    I'm not really following this, only really catching a headline or opening blurb, but I just want to say something.

    Holy shit, this sack of fuck needs to go to fucking jail forever. Or be just straight up executed. And all the slimy assholes who cannot see past the end of their own nose need to get some new bracelets on the way to mandatory vacation.

    Fuck.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    Heffling wrote: »
    Is it really that hard not to sexually abuse people?

    I feel about Nasser the way I feel about a serial killer. I feel terrible for the victims, but I'm not even really angry at Nasser, because I can barely even consider him human at all.

    But then there's the US gymnastics program, which apparently couldn't even be assed to do an absolute bare minimum job to protect children under their care. This fucker was taking unconscious girls up to his hotel room and getting away with it.

    That's a level of criminal negligence that gets me so angry my hands start shaking. They didn't stop Nasser because they didn't even try to protect those kids, it didn't even seem to occur to them to do so. They didn't care about them as anything but tools to get medals.

    As far as I'm concerned every adult in that program should never be allowed to work in athletics again, and anyone in a leadership position should be facing jailtime. I can't even conceive of people being that uncaring about children under their care.

    Kana on
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  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    What the fuck is up with the vaginal massage thing? Is that a for real medical procedure for like back pain or leg pain? I know human bodies are weird, but it seems extremely unlikely that there is an approved medical practice of massaging the inside of someone’s vagina to relieve back pain.

    I mean, how in the hell would you ever get approval to try that in the first place?

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    What the fuck is up with the vaginal massage thing? Is that a for real medical procedure for like back pain or leg pain? I know human bodies are weird, but it seems extremely unlikely that there is an approved medical practice of massaging the inside of someone’s vagina to relieve back pain.

    I mean, how in the hell would you ever get approval to try that in the first place?

    It is not a for real medical anything. Orgasms are an effective amateur DIY method of pain management, but for medical treatment it's not as good as drugs, and definitely not as good as managing the actual injury when trivial things can destroy an athletic career if not identified early.


    Edit: what it IS, however, is an excuse for a creep to put his hands on a girl's privates. The fact that it sorta works let's him say, "See? I told the truth and wasn't just being a sick fuck." Because making victims feel like coming forward is a betrayal of somebody who's taking care of them is sexual predator 101.

    Hevach on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Label wrote: »
    I'm not really following this, only really catching a headline or opening blurb, but I just want to say something.

    Holy shit, this sack of fuck needs to go to fucking jail forever. Or be just straight up executed. And all the slimy assholes who cannot see past the end of their own nose need to get some new bracelets on the way to mandatory vacation.

    Fuck.

    He's 54, already facing 60 years in federal prison, and going to get at least another 40 in state prison on Monday or Tuesday. So he's never being released.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    The Detroit News, I believe the state's second largest paper, has joined calls for Simon to resign. Also going after the likely Republican gubernatorial nominee and our current AG for not doing more to investigate the MSU side of things. Which is a little surprising, since the Detroit News is the conservative paper in this state.

    EDIT: MSU's student government also unanimously asked for her resignation.

    enlightenedbum on
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  • RobonunRobonun It's all fun and games until someone pisses off China Registered User regular
    I am a Michigan State alumna, and I am beyond disgusted at MSU's role in all this. They are not getting dime one in donations from me ever again unless and until they make this right. That includes firing Simon and any other fuckmuppet involved in this scandal.

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  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Robonun wrote: »
    I am a Michigan State alumna, and I am beyond disgusted at MSU's role in all this. They are not getting dime one in donations from me ever again unless and until they make this right. That includes firing Simon and any other fuckmuppet involved in this scandal.

    Tell them that. Dunno if it helps, but they need to know how you feel anyway.

    Man in the MistsshrykeMatevKayne Red RobeGiggles_Funsworthdiscrider
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    The MSU board of trustees has called a 10 am meeting today.

    I seriously doubt Simon keeps her job by the end of of day.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Also, the entirety of the 2012 women's gymnastics team has come forward as victims of Nassar.

    Utterly horrifying.

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  • RobonunRobonun It's all fun and games until someone pisses off China Registered User regular
    Robonun wrote: »
    I am a Michigan State alumna, and I am beyond disgusted at MSU's role in all this. They are not getting dime one in donations from me ever again unless and until they make this right. That includes firing Simon and any other fuckmuppet involved in this scandal.

    Tell them that. Dunno if it helps, but they need to know how you feel anyway.

    When I get home from work I'll be composing that letter. Not to mention explaining my view in great detail to any telemarketer calling for donations.

    RMS Oceanic
  • JoeUserJoeUser Registered User regular
    Another member of the 2012 Olympic team comes forward



    1tb6vl1l28fz.jpg

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    News since that announcement: Wieber and Raisman were in East Lansing to give their victim statements today. Raisman is absolutely furious with USAG, noting that the same day they announced they were ending their relationship with the Karolyi Ranch, gymnasts were there.

    Though she is not as furious as Rachael Denhollander is with MSU after she learned the board still supports Simon and will not be firing her.
    “I am absolutely appalled," Denhollander said. "President Simon has done nothing to rectify the problems that led to the greatest sexual assault scandal in sports history. We have just heard from approximately 80 women, most of whom were sexually assaulted after Kathie Klages received reports of sexual assaults in 1997. After Christie Achenbach reported to her track coach in 1999. After Tiffany Thomas-Lopez reported to trainers and athletic supervisors."

    Hopefully MSU students and alums take advantage of their nationally televised basketball game later tonight.

    enlightenedbum on
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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Wait, the board still supports her? The fuck?

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Hoping recall petitions for all 8 of them appear over the weekend.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Wait, the board still supports her? The fuck?

    This isn't even the first time the issue's been on their desks. They gave her a vote of confidence and offered her a substantial raise (more than three Michigan median household incomes!) with this shit going on. This is the same lot that, the last time the university was wrapped up in a sexual abuse scandal, named and shamed the whistle blower to protect the accused.

    I mean... Some awful people can see the writing on the wall and make the right decision out of political convenience. Historically, these have not been those people.

    Hevach on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    As a sidenote: just put Raisman in charge of USAG.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
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  • navgoosenavgoose Registered User regular
    What could they(the board) be hiding behind to support her still?

    Are they all going to pretend what Nassar was doing was medical?

  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    navgoose wrote: »
    What could they(the board) be hiding behind to support her still?

    Are they all going to pretend what Nassar was doing was medical?

    I'm still trying to find more concrete stuff in articles since this pretty much just happened (and a few people are probably going to have to get cornered and provoked to get the truth to slip out) but I'm thinking the idea is to throw Nassar and probably a bunch of other people in the athletics department under the bus and take the "What did the President know and when did she know it?" road to say she was never sufficiently informed to take proper action.


    Basically, the age-old political argument that the head of a major organization should be held to a lower standard than the shift supervisor at your local McDonalds.

    Hevach on
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    navgoose wrote: »
    What could they(the board) be hiding behind to support her still?

    Are they all going to pretend what Nassar was doing was medical?

    I'm still trying to find more concrete stuff in articles since this pretty much just happened (and a few people are probably going to have to get cornered and provoked to get the truth to slip out) but I'm thinking the idea is to throw Nassar and probably a bunch of other people in the athletics department under the bus and take the "What did the President know and when did she know it?" road to say she was never sufficiently informed to take proper action.


    Basically, the age-old political argument that the head of a major organization should be held to a lower standard than the shift supervisor at your local McDonalds.

    The most cynical explanation is that if they fire her for cause, that's powerful ammunition in the civil cases against MSU.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    MSU is already planning to fight the suits filed:

    DT60O7FXcAAOyVW?format=jpg

    This is even more disgusting given that Simon folded like a cheap suit to Nazi and punch magnet Richard Spencer.

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  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    http://www.espn.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/22046031/michigan-state-university-doctor-larry-nassar-surrounded-enablers-abused-athletes-espn

    ESPN has a good article documenting the many people who were either indifferent or complicit

    John Geddert, head coach of the Tristar girls program:
    Nassar, after all, was "the good cop" to Geddert's bad cop, the smiling trainer who helped gymnasts decompress from the pressure-cooker environment Geddert created outside of the training room door.

    "John and Larry were like this perfect storm," Kintigh said. "You become so unapproachable that your own gymnasts don't feel comfortable telling you what's going on. There's no way any of the girls would have felt comfortable saying anything to John [about Larry]. Kids were terrified of him."
    [...]
    In the months before and after the London Olympics, Geddert's temper threatened his career. He was accused of assault and battery in two separate incidents at Twistars, according to police reports obtained by Outside the Lines.
    [...]
    On at least one occasion, Geddert walked into the back room of Twistars while Nassar was digitally penetrating a young gymnast, according to the woman's court testimony: "All I remember is him [Nassar] doing the treatment on me with his fingers in my vagina, massaging my back with a towel over my butt, and John walking in and making a joke that I guess my back really did hurt."

    Jane, the gymnast who took the bath at Nassar's apartment and trained at Great Lakes, says the dynamic in Geddert's gym had led her to conclude that "part of what enabled this is John broke little girls' spirits and bodies, and Larry was there to fix them."

    Kathie Klages, head coach of Michigan State gymnastics and a former colleague with Geddert and Nassar:
    [Two gymnasts] say that in late 1997, they told Klages what was happening during their sessions with Nassar.

    "I said that he was putting his fingers inside of me ... and that it was uncomfortable, and at that point she just said she couldn't believe that was happening ... that was somebody she trusted and knew for years," Boyce says when asked about her meeting with Klages.

    Says the second former gymnast: "I thought I was gonna have someone to help me. And it wasn't that sense at all of getting help. It was more a sense of, 'Who have you told so far?' and, 'Let's not talk about this anymore.'" She spoke only on the condition of anonymity, to protect her family's privacy.

    Boyce and the second former gymnast say Klages never informed their parents about what they had told her. Klages and her attorney declined to comment for this story.
    [...]
    Even when multiple women came forward in late 2016, alleging abuse by Nassar during medical exams, Klages continued to defend her former colleague. Lindsey Lemke, a senior on the Spartans' gymnastics team, says Klages circulated a card during a team meeting in late September, shortly after Nassar was fired by the university, asking gymnasts to sign it as a show of support for him.
    [...]
    [A mother of an abused gymnast] says she explained to Klages that Nassar never sought parental consent, that he touched her daughter without gloves and without someone else in the room. She says she told Klages that "in my mind, that makes it illegal." But Klages, she says, was steadfast in her support of Nassar.

    Destiny Teachnor-Hauk, athletic training supervisor at Michigan State
    Tiffany Thomas Lopez, a softball player on full scholarship, says she complained about Nassar to three athletic trainers in 1998, a year after Boyce and the second gymnast met with Klages to reveal their alleged abuse.

    "I felt like they thought I was a liar," Thomas Lopez says. She eventually met with Destiny Teachnor-Hauk, an athletic training supervisor. "She brushed me off, and made it seem like I was crazy. She made me feel like I was crazy."

    Teachnor-Hauk, who remains employed by Michigan State, declined comment.

    Brooke Lemmen, a doctor referred to during a title IX investigation in 2014 against Nassar.
    Dr. Brooke Lemmen, a fellow physician who was viewed by colleagues as a close friend and "protégé" of Nassar's. She told the Title IX investigators in the spring of 2014 there was nothing sexual about the treatment Nassar administered. The other three experts agreed with her opinion and decided that the complainant didn't understand the "nuanced difference" between the medical procedure and assault.

    Lemmen resigned under pressure last January. She faced allegations that she had failed to tell her bosses that Nassar had told her -- in 2015 -- he was being investigated by USA Gymnastics for suspected abuse, according to her personnel file first obtained by the Lansing State Journal. She also was accused of removing some of Nassar's patient files from the sports clinic after he was fired by MSU in 2016.

    Dr. William Strampel, Dead of Michigan State
    [After the title IX investigation "cleared" Nassar, Strampel sent] Nassar an email on July 30, 2014, that said he was "happy that this has resolved to some extend [sic]" and recapped basic guidelines for what Nassar had to do while treating patients in sensitive areas in the future. [However, Nassar was still under criminal investigation] Nassar saw patients for another 16 months while he remained under criminal investigation. [...] At least a dozen young women and girls have reported to police that Nassar assaulted them after he was allowed to return to work.

    Dr. Douglas Dietzel, Nassar's immediate supervisor [told investigating detectives] that, in 2016, when a new wave of allegations arrived -- ones that would eventually open the floodgates of complaints and land Nassar in prison -- Strampel visited the clinic and said Nassar would be suspended again. Strampel said the suspension was due in part because Nassar did not follow the guidelines they agreed upon after his 2014 investigation. This surprised Dietzel. He told the police that, up until that conversation in 2016, he had no idea that Nassar had any extra guidelines he needed to follow.

    "How do we enforce those things when we didn't even know about them?" Dietzel asked the detectives.

    Strampel, whose attorney declined comment on his behalf, told the detectives he saw no need to let others in the clinic know about Nassar's guidelines or to set up any system that would make sure he was following them. Having someone else in the room when treating a sensitive area is "healthcare 101," Strampel said. Despite the fact Nassar was under a police investigation, Strampel told the detectives that he just had not seen a need to follow up.

    Despite Nassar's track record, Strampel, who stepped down from his position as dean and took a medical leave in December, did not appear to approach Nassar with a different degree of skepticism over time: When Nassar emailed Strampel in September 2016 to let him know that reporters from The Indianapolis Star wanted to ask him questions about new sexual abuse allegations, Strampel wished Nassar luck and wrote: "I am on your side."

    Steve Penny, the president and CEO of USA Gymnastics
    Nichols' mother, Gina, received a phone call. It was from Steve Penny, the president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, who started the conversation by saying: "I understand Maggie has some concerns," Gina Nichols says.

    "He never once said, 'Is Maggie OK?'" Instead, she says, Penny told her, "We need to keep this quiet. It's very sensitive. We don't want this to get out."

    Gina Nichols says Penny repeated his initial request for discretion in several conversations over the ensuing months, requests that struck her, an operating room nurse, and her husband John, a physician, as odd. Penny, Gina Nichols says, put them in an impossible situation and "was in a position of authority over me and my husband. Our whole family gave up everything so we could put [Maggie] on this road."

    USA Gymnastics officials have said they kept the matter confidential overall because of "the FBI's directive not to interfere with the investigation." But in mid-June 2015, when Penny made his initial phone call to Gina Nichols, nobody from USA Gymnastics had spoken with the FBI.

    In the months before Gina Nichols spoke with the FBI, she says Penny assured her the case was being "taken care of."

    Raisman told Outside the Lines that she and her mother, Lynn, had similar interactions with Penny in the months after she initially reported Nassar's abuse to the investigator hired by USA Gymnastics. "Steve Penny was trying to control when I was going to be interviewed by the FBI," Aly Raisman says. "He was trying to control every part of it. The biggest priority was to make sure I kept it quiet so they'd have a good Olympics. It's disgusting."

    Because of Penny's assurances the investigation was being handled, Raisman says she did not meet with the FBI until Sept. 9, 2016, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a month after serving as captain on Team USA's gold-medal-winning team in Rio. Penny flew in for the interview, she says. She says she wouldn't allow him to be in the room when she spoke to the FBI agent investigating the case.

    In March, Penny resigned from USA Gymnastics. At the time, Penny not only faced widespread criticism for the way he had handled complaints against Nassar, but an investigation by The Indianapolis Star revealed USA Gymnastics had a pattern of ignoring or mishandling complaints of sexual abuse by dozens of coaches.

    The Wall Street Journal reported that Penny received a $1 million severance package.

    Kana on
    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
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  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    I see they learned from Penn State. Deny deny deny and hope people forget in a couple years.

    The only way the board gets rid of Simon is if donations dry up.

    Fuck Firearm Fetishism
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Klages, Teachnor-Hauk, and Lemmen ought to be prosecuted.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
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  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    also:
    Stephens, whose father did not believe that she had been abused, says the fact she refused to apologize to Nassar was a constant subject in what had become a contentious relationship with her father. She says he branded her as a liar. Her father suffered from chronic debilitating physical pain throughout much of her life, and she says the cocktail of drugs he was prescribed to manage that affected his mental well-being.

    A month before she left for college in 2010, she decided it was time to try again to tell her father that Nassar had assaulted her.

    "I wasn't lying," she remembers telling him, before his hand shot out and pinned her neck to the chair where she was sitting. "Then he said -- well, he growled, 'What did you say?' I gasped, 'I wasn't lying.' He said it again. I was basically choking, and I said, 'I. Was. Not. Lying.' He just crumpled. You could see his face just completely shatter, like, 'Holy shit, this 18-year-old doesn't have any reason to stick to that story at this point.' He just sat on the couch and just stared into space for a while."

    On March 30, 2016, he died by suicide.

    Stephens says she reached a level of peace with her father in the years that followed that altercation. He told her he was wracked with guilt for believing Nassar, especially because he worked for many years as a caretaker in a home for abused children. She says she thinks the chronic pain with no hope of relief was the main reason her father took his life, but the guilt he felt in those final years "really broke his spirit and his belief that he was worth keeping alive."

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    By the way - the four doctors who testified to Nassar's treatment being non-sexual? All had longstanding ties to both him and MSU.

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