A former Michigan State doctor facing numerous allegations and charges of sexual assault and abuse has been found by a university Title IX investigator to have sexually assaulted a 15-year-old patient 17 years ago, according to a report published Tuesday by the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal.
The newspaper cited documents obtained as part of an investigation of Larry Nassar, a team physician with the Spartans from 1997-2016.
From the report:
The conclusion, drawn by a university Title IX investigator, is the first ruling — administrative, criminal or civil — that has agreed with any of the at least 80 women or girls who have sued Michigan State University and Nassar over allegations of sexual assault.
The determination by the investigator comes more than 2 1/2 years after another Title IX investigation by MSU involving similar allegations against Nassar cleared the longtime university doctor. Rachael Denhollander’s Title IX investigation, opened in September, was the second the university started in connection with Nassar.
She also is one of 10 women or girls whose sexual assault reports to police have led to criminal charges against Nassar.
Denhollander, who told the Indianapolis Star last year that Nassar sexually assaulted her, said she was grateful that MSU’s Title IX report was thorough and accurate. She added that she knew when she came forward publicly in September that it would be an “uphill battle.”
Nassar was fired last September.
In February, two female gymnasts alleged in court records that ex-Spartans women’s gymnastics coach Kathie Klages discouraged them from reporting their complaints about Nassar’s conduct in the 1990s. Klages was suspended by the university and announced her retirement two days later.
The report continues:
And in 2014, the woman who brought the allegations against Nassar, a recent MSU graduate at the time, told police and the university that Nassar sexually assaulted her during a medical appointment. MSU police investigated, but prosecutors declined to issue charges. The university’s internal Title IX investigation cleared Nassar of any violations of the university’s sexual assault and harassment policy, saying the woman didn’t understand the “nuanced difference” between sexual assault and an appropriate medical procedure.
Both the 2004 and 2014 police investigations have been reopened. The woman who made allegations in 2014 filed a lawsuit against Nassar and MSU on Monday.
“Nobody even listened,” Denhollander said. “Nobody even listened to what these other women said in the past.”