MSU police investigate sex assault reported at clinic

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News
Michigan State University police investigate sexual assault reports from the university clinic.

Michigan State University police are investigating a reported sexual assault by a medical resident at the campus Clinical Center, officials said.

Police Chief James Dunlap said they received complaints in late September and quickly opened a criminal investigation into the resident at the MSU Neurology Clinic. 

The incident reported did not involve any patients of the Clinical Center and "to our knowledge the victims are not students," Dunlap said. "There is no danger to the community."

Emily Guerrant, a university spokeswoman, said the report was made to MSUPD last week and the resident in question was suspended from the clinic on Sept. 25 while officers investigated. 

"University leadership is aware of a police investigation into reports of sexual assault at the MSU Neurology Clinic. This is an ongoing police investigation so details are limited, however, the police did confirm the assault complaints did not involve patients," said Guerrant, adding the university is taking the allegations seriously. 

"The university has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct and violence, and it is important that anyone feel comfortable coming forward with concerns," she said. "We will use all available resources to investigate the situation and support those involved."

Due to the open investigation, Dunlap would not comment on whether the incident is related to three criminal sexual assault complaints reported in September. University crime logs show two sexual assaults were reported on Sept. 25 and another on Sept. 26.

Dunlap said reports have not been sent to the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office. 

"The reports have not been submitted to the prosecuting attorney as of this time and I can’t tell you at this point when that will occur," he said. 

MSU has recently seen an increase in reports of sexual misconduct and officials are taking longer to investigate, according to university records. The university’s Office of Institutional Equity received almost 1,200 sexual misconduct reports during the 2017-18 academic year, up from more than 700 reports the previous year. 

The increase comes after former MSU and USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced up to 175 years in prison when 332 women and girls came forward to say they were sexually assaulted by him.

Twitter: @SarahRahal_