Michigan State and legal professionals for 332 victims introduced Wednesday that they've reached a $500 million settlement.
In what could be the largest settlement ever in a sexual misconduct case involving a university, Michigan State University has agreed to pay $500 million to hundreds of young women and girls sexually assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar, reports the Lansing State Journal. More that 150 women spoke at Nassar's sentencing hearing, alleging that he had abused them while claiming to be providing medical treatment.
The settlement only deals with accusations against Michigan State. Those who have come forward include Olympians Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and Gabby Douglas. After serving that sentence, he will serve two sentences - one that's 40 to 175 years and another that's 40 to 125 years - in two MI counties for a total of 10 sexual assault charges.
After telling Nassar his sentence, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina responded, "I just signed your death warrant".
Trustee Brian Breslin, chairman of MSU's governing board, said the school is "truly sorry" for what victims and their families went through and says the school recognizes a "need for change" in sexual assault awareness and prevention.
I am very grateful to have reached a settlement with MSU that reflects the incredible damage which took place on MSU's campus.
ADAM GLANZMAN GETTY IMAGES US Olympian Aly Raisman was among the gymnasts who accused sports doctor Larry Nassar of abuse
"This historic settlement came about through the bravery of more than 300 women and girls who had the courage to stand up and refused to be silenced", Manly said in a statement. It does not extend to pending civil suits against the individuals and institutions that allegedly enabled or were negligent in preventing Nassar's abuse, including USA Gymnastics, the United States Olympic Committee, Twistars Gymnastics Club and gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi.
Nassar also served as team doctor for US gymnasts at four Olympic games, and his victims have included a number of former Olympians.
MSU is expected to put the money into a qualified settlement fund, Mittleman said. She had both praise and criticism for the university with the announcement of the settlement.
The president of USA Gymnastics, which oversees the US Olympic team, as well as the entire board of directors resigned after at least 156 women came forward to testify against the disgraced ex-doctor. "It is the honest hope of all of the survivors that the legacy of this settlement will be far-reaching institutional reform that will end the threat of sexual assault in sports, schools and throughout our society".
Lindsey Lemke, a former MSU gymnast, said she hoped the settlement would bring what she has called long-overdue change in how the university responds to abuse claims.