Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette opening investigation into Michigan State athletic program
Michigan’s attorney general says he will give an all-encompassing look into how much Michigan State officials knew about claims of sexual abuse by patients of disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar.
Bill Schuette promised a thorough and prompt investigation into the university that will be “done right.”
Schuette, who is running for governor, told reporters Saturday that “it is abundantly clear that a full and complete investigation of what happened at Michigan State from the president’s office down is required.
“No individual and no department at Michigan State University is off-limits,” Schuette said. “This investigation is priority one.”
Schuette’s announcement comes a day after athletic director Mark Hollis retired amid sharp criticism of the East Lansing school’s response to the allegations. School president Lou Anna Simon resigned Wednesday.
The Michigan State board of trustees, which had called for Schuette to open an inquiry, also drew a sharp rebuke from the attorney general.
“I don’t need advice from the board of trustees about how to conduct an investigation,” Schuette said. “They should be the last ones giving advice about how to conduct an investigation. Their conduct speaks for itself.”
Schuette did not take questions about the investigation, which will be led by Bill Forsyth, a 42-year veteran prosecutor. Also taking part will be some of the top investigators in Schuette’s office and the state police.
Gov. Rick Snyder is mulling a separate inquiry into the university, depending on whether it would interfere with other investigations such as the attorney general’s and a potential NCAA investigation. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is also investigating the scandal.
Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is calling on Michigan State to establish a fund to compensate Nassar’s victims, telling the Detroit Free Press that the fund “will likely need hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Nassar, a former Michigan State employee and gymnastics doctor for the U.S. Olympic team, was sentenced this week to 40 to 175 years in prison for molesting young girls and women under the guise of medical treatment.
Earlier Saturday, the Lansing State Journal and The Detroit News reported that Michigan State did not give a patient who accused Nassar of sexual assault the full conclusions of a 2014 Title IX investigation.
The patient received an abbreviated version of the 2014 report, which found that Nassar’s conduct wasn’t sexual in nature and therefore didn’t violate the school’s sexual harassment policy. Among the finding not shared were that Nassar’s failure to explain the “invasive, sensitive procedures” he was using and to obtain prior consent from patients “is opening the practice up to liability and is exposing patients to unnecessary trauma based on the possibility of perceived inappropriate sexual misconduct.”
A school spokesman said the patient was told the investigation had resulted in recommended policy changes at the sports medicine clinic where Nassar worked.
ESPN’s Mark Schwarz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.