Michigan State faces record federal fine in Nassar sexual abuse scandal | TribLIVE.com

Michigan State faces record federal fine in Nassar sexual abuse scandal

Deb Erdley
Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP
Larry Nassar listens during his sentencing at Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte, Mich., on Feb. 5, 2018. The former doctor for Michigan State University sports-medicine and USA Gymnastics received 40 to 125 years for three first degree criminal sexual abuse charges related to assaults at a gymnastics facility in Dimondale, Mich. Nassar has also been sentenced to 60 years in prison for three child pornography charges in federal court and between 40 to 175 years in Ingham County for seven counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Federal regulators Thursday slapped Michigan State University with a $4.5 million fine stemming from the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

The fine is the largest on record against a university charged with failure to protect students from sexual abuse. The largest fine prior to this was $2.4 million the U.S. Department of Education levied upon Penn State stemming from the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal.

In both cases, university officials were charged with failing to act on allegations against prominent campus figures who were later convicted of multiple counts of sexual abuse. Federal law requires universities and colleges to heed Title IX of the Civil Rights Act with regards to sexual harassment and discrimination. The Campus Security Act also requires that they publish reports of crime on and around campus and to issue timely warnings to students of threats.

Nassar, once a respected Michigan State and USA Gymnastics sports medicine doctor, was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison in 2018 after more than 150 young women, including several Olympic gymnasts, stepped forward to testify that he sexually abused them. The scandal that rocked the sports world prompted the resignation of the university’s president and athletic director

Earlier this year, William Strampel, the former dean of Michigan State’s osteopathic medical school who had oversight responsibilities for Nassar, was sentenced to one year in prison following his conviction for neglect of duty and misconduct in office stemming from allegations that he sexually harassed students.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said the fine levied against Michigan State should send a message to students, faculty and staff at colleges across the nation that sexual misconduct will not be ignored and that universities will be held accountable if that occurs.

“What transpired at Michigan State was abhorrent, inexcusable, and a total and complete failure to follow the law and protect students. Michigan State will now pay for its failures and will be required to make meaningful changes to how it handles Title IX cases moving forward. No future student should have to endure what too many did because concerns about Larry Nassar and William Strampel were ignored,” DeVos said, announcing the fines.

Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.