Michigan State President Simon Steps Down, But We Need More Resignations

When Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced serial abuser Larry Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison on January 24, the court exploded in applause.

Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor and Michigan State University (MSU) sports medicine physician, had already been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on charges of child pornography.

In the Lansing, Michigan courtroom he was accused of sexually abusing more than 150 girls and young women over the course of almost 20 years.

As the sentence was read, survivors and their families embraced and wept. This was a hard-won catharsis and a tribute to the 156 female athletes who stepped forward to confront Nassar in person in the courtroom.

You can watch some of that testimony here.

As Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney’s statement read, “Dr. Nassar was not a doctor. He in fact is, was, and forever shall be a child molester, and a monster of a human being.”

So why did it take so long for his abuses to be uncovered?

It was a cover-up. The Detroit News has revealed that at least 14 MSU staffers received complaints of sexual misconduct by Nassar in the two decades before he was arrested but did nothing.

MSU President Lou Anna Simon (seen above) was one of these. A federal Title IX complaint was brought against Nassar in 2014; MSU investigated but found no grounds to dismiss him. Simon admits that she knew of the complaint and a police report but says she never saw the report.

Two Care2 petitions were created, both calling for President Simon to resign and one also demanding that Nassar’s patients not be billed for appointments where they were raped or assaulted.

Success!

On January 24 we learned that MSU President Simon had resigned. On the same day this statement came from an MSU spokesperson:

“Patients of former MSU physician Larry Nassar with outstanding bills will not be billed. As for refunds for patients already billed and paid, the university is reviewing that.”

Thank you to the over 18,000 Care2 activists who signed on to demand these changes.

Care2 is proud that these petitions contributed to a groundswell that brought some semblance of justice for these courageous young women.

We can celebrate these victories while recognizing that much more needs to happen.

So far, Steve Penny, the CEO of USA Gymnastics has resigned, and John Geddert, the U.S. women’s gymnastic coach for the 2012 Olympic team in London has been suspended due to his ties with Nassar.

Survivors and their attorneys are bringing lawsuits against groups who allegedly enabled Nassar’s abuse for so long, including USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Twistars Gymnastics Club, a training facility in the Lansing area that reportedly referred athletes to Nassar.

But what about the other 13 MSU employees, in addition to Simon, who knew of complaints against Nassar but did nothing?

They need to be held accountable too, which is why Kelsey Bourgeois is demanding in her Care2 petition that “It’s time to figure out who knew about the years of sexual abuse and oust anyone who didn’t act.”

With many of Nassar’s enablers still employed at MSU, we must demand their resignations too.

If you agree, please keep up the pressure to bring justice to these survivors of sexual abuse by signing the Care2 petition demanding the ouster of all MSU employees who knew about this abuse but took no action.

Photo Credit: Screenshot from Si.com video

86 comments

Ruth R
Ruth R1 months ago

Thank You.

SEND
Mike R
Mike R2 months ago

Thanks

SEND
Mike R
Mike R2 months ago

Thanks

SEND
Mike R
Mike R3 months ago

Thanks

SEND
Clare O
Clare O'Beara3 months ago

I see a White House official advisor has resigned after allegations of domestic spousal abuse. Well if all the advisors are male....

SEND
Elaine W
Elaine W3 months ago

Noted.

SEND
Paulo Reeson
Paulo R3 months ago

ty

SEND
Paulo Reeson
Paulo R3 months ago

ty

SEND
Past Member
Past Member 3 months ago

signed!

SEND
Janis K
Janis K3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

SEND