Attorney General Bill Schuette is calling on Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon to release the results of an MSU internal investigation about Larry Nassar to see if others were culpable during the decades the disgraced doctor sexually assaulted young girls under the guise of a medical treatment.
In a letter sent to Simon on Tuesday, Schuette told her the university’s investigation into Nassar by former federal prosecutor and U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald would be “critical to understanding the full picture of what, if any, responsibility other persons may have had regarding Mr. Nassar’s criminal conduct.”
“Releasing the findings to the proper law enforcement authorities, such as the FBI, Michigan State Police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, is essential to ensure that a complete and thorough investigation into Mr. Nassar’s actions is conducted,” Schuette wrote. “And, an analysis of the findings by law enforcement is needed to ensure justice for the victims of Mr. Nassar.”
Schuette’s letter comes after a growing chorus of victims, attorneys and newspapers have called for the release of the findings of Fitzgerald’s inquiry into MSU — which hired him earlier this year but said recently it wouldn’t release his report.
Two days ago, Detroit News editorial page editor Nolan Finley called on Schuette to widen his investigation of Nassar to MSU, with the same aggressiveness he used in the Flint water crisis.
On Sunday, the Lansing State Journal published a front-page editorial calling for Simon to resign for failing to keep women safe from sexual predators on campus.
Many other have been calling for the release of Fitzgerald’s findings, especially after Nassar, the former MSU and USA Gymnastics physician, pleaded guilty to 10 charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Ingham and Eaton counties.
Nassar also pleaded guilty last summer to possessing 37,000 images of child pornography; he will be sentenced Thursday in federal court.
California-based attorney John Manly, who represents more than 100 Michigan women in civil lawsuits against Nassar, said he called many victims and they were “ecstatic” about Schuette’s move.
“Survivors want to know how this happened, they want to know why this happened to them,” Manly said. “For two reasons: You want people to be held accountable, but what is more important is that this never happen to another young woman at MSU.”
Okemos-based attorney Mick Grewal, who also represents women suing Nassar, said: “The attorney general’s request today is another step towards justice. We remain cautiously optimistic that Michigan State University will comply with this request. However, the report should be made public so that everybody can see what the investigation entailed, to allow for complete transparency.”
Rachael Denhollander, whose public accusation against Nassar last year led to the eventual charges against him, praised Schuette’s action.
“I am so grateful to see Attorney General Schuette pursuing the full measure of justice for us,” she said. “I wish MSU would have demonstrated the same desire for transparency and change, but since they did not, I am thankful other leaders have seen the importance of it.”
MSU spokesman Jason Cody said he was aware of Schuette’s letter but had not seen it. “Our general counsel will review it,” Cody said.