Records: MSU doctor didn't disclose probe
East Lansing — A Michigan State University doctor resigned after learning the school was considering her termination because she didn’t disclose in 2015 that USA Gymnastics was investigating a fellow physician who has since been charged with molesting young gymnasts, according to records released to the Lansing State Journal.
The documents obtained from Dr. Brooke Lemmen’s personnel file through the Freedom of Information Act reveal she also removed patient records at Dr. Larry Nassar’s request, the newspaper reported.
Lemmen’s lawyer, Aaron Kemp, on Saturday disputed the claims made in the university documents.
Nassar was a sports doctor for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians and is headquartered in Indianapolis. Michigan State fired Nassar in September after he violated restrictions that were put in place in 2014 following a complaint. He was charged last month with sexually assaulting gymnasts who came to him for treatments for hip and back injuries. He’s also being sued by dozens of women and girls. Nassar, 53, has denied wrongdoing.
Lemmen resigned from Michigan State in January.
According to the documents given to the Lansing State Journal, Lemmen failed to disclose to Michigan State that Nassar had told her in 2015 that he was being investigated by USA Gymnastics.
But Kemp said neither Nassar nor USA Gymnastics told her of allegations of sexual assault.
In a Dec. 12 letter, College of Osteopathic Medicine Dean William Strampel wrote to Lemmen that not disclosing the USA Gymnastics investigation was “troubling” because she was one of four medical experts Michigan State used during a 2014 internal Title IX probe that cleared Nassar of sexual assault allegations.
But Kemp said Lemmen also was not given details surrounding the university’s 2014 investigation.
“In each instance, Dr. Lemmen was told there were questions regarding Dr. Nassar’s medical techniques that patients were uncomfortable with,” Kemp said.
Former gymnasts have accused Nassar of abuse following an August report in the Indianapolis Star about how USA Gymnastics handled sexual abuse complaints against coaches and others.
Lawyers suing Michigan State on behalf of victims have accused the university of failing to do more to prevent Nassar’s alleged acts. The university is conducting an internal investigation of Nassar’s work.
At least two others with ties to USA Gymnastics or Michigan State have stepped away from their jobs as the scandal has unfolded.
On Thursday, Steve Penny resigned as president of USA Gymnastics following intensified pressure on the organization for its handling of sex abuse cases. Michigan State gymnastics coach Kathie Klages quit in February, a day after she was suspended for defending Nassar in front of her team.