Nassar - AP

FILE - In this Nov. 22, 2017, file photo, Dr. Larry Nassar appears in court for a plea hearing in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Michigan State Sex Assault Attorney To Head Title IX Office

June 29, 2018 - 1:51 pm

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State University has hired an attorney who defended the school against sexual assault lawsuits to head the office handling sexual assault complaints, sparking pushback from victim advocates.

The Detroit Free Press reports the university's interim president, John Engler, appointed Robert Kent this month to temporarily lead the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance. The school cited his expertise in such cases.

The move comes in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal involving former sports doctor Larry Nassar. Hundreds of women and girls say he sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment, including when he worked for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics.

One outspoken victim, Rachael Denhollander, says Kent's appointment sends "a message to survivors that their voices don't matter."

On Friday, investigators are expected to address allegations against Nassar at a famed Texas gymnastics training center.