Criminal Sex Abuse or Medical Malpractice?; More

Wayne J. Guglielmo, MA

Disclosures

January 28, 2019

In This Article

Infamous Sports Doctor Says 'Treatments' Were Medically Justified

Larry Nassar, the convicted former USA Gymnastics team physician and ex-staff doctor at Michigan State University (MSU), has told investigators that his decades of sex abuse should have been dealt with as a "medical malpractice case," not a criminal matter, according to a story posted on CNN.com, among other news outlets.[1]

Last month, the Michigan Attorney General's (AG's) office sent an investigator to interview Nassar in his jail cell, where he was then being held, pending transfer to a federal penitentiary. (In January 2018, a judge sentenced Nassar to 40-175 years for his crimes.)

In the report that was generated from that interview—a status update on MSU's internal handling of matters related to their former employee—Nassar is quoted as saying that his "treatments" were administered "for a medical purpose," not for his own pleasure.

The AG's report further states that Nassar only pleaded guilty to the criminal charges against him "because he lost his support from the medical community and his patients"—including some of the most prominent members of the USA Gymnastics team—"after the police discovered reams of child pornography in his possession."

The report goes on to characterize Nassar as "defiant" and "unrepentant" and his statements of remorse in the courtroom as clearly a "farce."

The AG's office also faulted MSU for being less than cooperative in its release of documents relevant to the case, despite a court order requiring it to fully comply. "At some point in time, just admit you screwed up, and take whatever steps you need to take to rectify it," said William Forsyth, the independent special counsel appointed to look into how the university dealt with complaints about Nassar. "Apologize for what happened, ensure to people that it won't happen again."

In response to the AG's report, MSU replied, in part, "Today's announcement shows that the attorney general's office has found no criminal conduct beyond those formerly charged, even after reviewing more than a half million documents and interviewing 500 people. We appreciate the attorney general's investigation and the hard work of the many people involved."

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