18 females sue former MSU doctor, allege sexual abuse

Larry Nassar
A Nov. 21, 2016 mug shot of Larry Nassar. (Michigan Department of Corrections/WILX)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — More trouble for a Michigan State University doctor accused of sexually abusing young girls. Dr. Larry Nassar was fired from the university, but his victims want more.

Tuesday, a lawsuit was filed in federal court in Grand Rapids against Nassar, MSU, USA gymnastics and Twistars.

Nassar was a well-respected Michigan State University doctor, who specialized in helping gymnast. For years, he worked with local gymnastic clubs helping girls as young as 6.

Racheal Denhollander was one if his patients.

“I’m grieved for the unnecessary pain he has caused so many of us. I’m grieved for the pain he is putting his family through and I’ve grieved for the waste of manhood, he could have been,” Denhollander said.

Denhollander claims that back in 2000 Nassar sexually assaulted her during all five of her appointments.

She says she didn’t feel comfortable and stopped seeing Nassar but never reported the alleged abuse.

“It was clear (Nassar) was someone that (the organizations) supported and I was very confident that my voice would not be heard,” she added.

The lawsuit claims 17 other minors experienced similar sexual abuse from Nassar from 1996 up until last year. It goes after MSU, USA Gymnastics and Twistars for allowing the alleged abuse to continue.

The lawsuit claims that in 1999 and 2000 two different individuals complained to MSU about Nassar and the university failed to take action.

Then in July 2014, MSU initiated an investigation but it was dismissed because MSU said the victim didn’t understand the difference between sexual assault and appropriate medical procedure.

The lawsuit also says that in 2015, USA Gymnastics let Nassar go after becoming aware of concerns, but failed to inform MSU.

“The culture of abuse is created by how we respond to the predators and how we respond to the victims and until that culture is changed. Predators will continue to follow this problem because they know they can do so safely,” said Denhollander.

Nassar has previously said the allegations are false.

MSU responded to the suit saying, “Our hearts go out to those directly affected.” It added that, they have no evidence anyone came forward before 2016, except for a complaint that was investigated in 2014.

USA Gymnastics says they learned about concerns about Nassar in 2015, immediately notified the FBI and let the doctor go.