The state of Michigan has filed nearly two dozen new charges against Dr. Larry Nassar. The former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician is accused of sexually assaulting a number of young women who came to him as patients seeking medical treatment. Nassar now stands accused of 25 counts of criminal sexual conduct.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette addressed a packed room of reporters Thursday to announce 22 counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct against Nassar. The charges add to the three Schuette had previously filed against the former MSU physician last November.
Schuette said the new charges were brought by nine young women, seven of whom were between the ages of 13 and 16 at the time of the alleged assault. Two of the victims were younger than 13.
Saying he was speaking both as attorney general and as a father of a daughter, Schuette minced no words in his rebuke of Larry Nassar.
“Dr. Nassar used his status and his authority to engage in horrid, sexual assaults under the guise of medical procedures,” Schuette says. “Read these warrants; read these affidavits. This guy is disgusting. This guy is despicable. This guy is a monster.”
Schuette was joined by Michigan State University Police Chief Jim Dunlap. MSU received its first complaint against Nassar in August 2016. Nassar was fired by the university the following month, and last October, Dunlap recommended charges to the attorney general.
Dunlap said his department is currently reviewing more than 80 reported sexual assaults against Nassar.
“We have compiled over 600 investigative reports,” Dunlap explains. “We‘ve executed multiple search warrants, compiled and reviewed thousands and thousands of supporting documents, and interviewed nearly 300 people. As a result of those investigations, 28 felony charges and indictments have been secured against Nassar.”
Some, including at least one attorney representing three of the alleged victims, have questioned the university’s ability to conduct an impartial investigation.
Chief Dunlap addressed that issue directly.
“And while I recognize the optics of the issues associated with this, I don’t agree with the concept of perception being reality that was raised,” he said. “In law enforcement, reality is reality and we continue to work with our partners in the FBI, the United States attorney’s office and the state attorney general’s office in regards to this. I want to assure you and most importantly I want to assure the survivors that we are all conducting a thorough and impartial investigation in this matter.”
Nassar also faces two federal charges of possession of child pornography. If convicted, he faces anywhere from five to 40 years in prison with no eligibility for parole.
If Nassar is convicted on any or all of the 22 state-level charges, he could face mandatory life imprisonment. Attorney General Bill Schuette said he’s confident these charges will be upheld in court.
Schuette also expressed certainty that charges will continue to be filed. He said Michigan State University is receiving complaints of alleged sexual abuse against Nassar almost daily. The attorney general’s office is urging other potential victims to come forward with their stories.
Schuette says his office is pursuing the case against Nassar because he understands quote “the mixture of anger, heartache and heartbreak” for the victims and their parents. Michigan State University has set up a hotline for anyone who may have additional information about these cases.
That number is 844-99-MSUPD (67873).