Michigan OKs Nassar-Related Laws To Give Victims Time To Sue

June 12, 2018 - 8:47 pm

LANSING, Mich. (WWJ/AP) - Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has signed two bills inspired by the Larry Nassar scandal, including one giving childhood sexual abuse victims more time to sue.

The current cutoff to file a lawsuit is generally a minor victim's 19th birthday, which critics say is out of step with other states and does not account for how victims are afraid to report abuse or have suppressed it.

One law will allow people who were sexually abused as children to sue until their 28th birthdays, or three years from when they realize they have been abused. Victims of the imprisoned former sports doctor, who worked for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, will get a 90-day window to sue retroactively.

Calley signed the bills because Gov. Rick Snyder is out of state.

In March, criminal charges were filed against a former head of Michigan State University's medical school, and Larry Nassar's boss -- including a charge that he himself was a sexual abuser.

Dr. William Strampel, 70, served as the dean of MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine from 2002 until December, 2017, when he stepped down for medical reasons. 

The Michigan Attorney General has charged Strampel with one count of felony misconduct in office and two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty in connection with a Title IX investigation into then-MSU doctor Nassar, who was accused of sexually abusing young patients.

In addition, Strampel faces one count of criminal sexual conduct - fourth degree, a misdemeanor, on accusations he inappropriately touched a student, or students, and stored nude photos of female students on his work computer. 

In May,  Michigan State University has reached a $500 million settlement with hundreds of women and girls who say they were sexually assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar in the worst sex-abuse case in sports history.

According to a news release by the university, the terms of the settlement fro 332 victims are as follows:

$425 million dollars will be paid to current claimants;
$75 million dollars will be set aside in a trust fund to protect any future claimants alleging sexual abuse by Larry Nassar
There will be no confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure agreements attached to the settlement. Additionally, the parties must act to address items necessary to finalize the agreement.