Lawmakers at the state Capitol are considering new measures to crack down on sexual assault in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal at Michigan State University.
Nassar, a former athletic doctor at MSU, is serving what amounts to a life sentence in prison for sexually abusing hundreds of girls and young women over many years.
WDET’s Jake Neher and Michigan Public Radio’s Cheyna Roth talk about what the state Legislature might do to prevent future abuse.
The state House is considering dozens of bills that try to address issues of sexual abuse. They include bill packages that address:
- Medical procedures on minors
- Sexual contact under the pretext of medical treatment
- Reporting sexual assault reports to university governing boards
- Increasing the time limit for sexual assault survivors to file civil suits
- Reporting requirements for child abuse or neglect
“I don’t know that there’s anything that we’re going to be able to handle this year that’s going to be more important than what we’re doing right now,” said state Rep. Lana Theis (R-Brighton) before a state House committee last week. Theis is a bill sponsor.
“Like the rest of the county, while I was watching the testimonies of the victims of Nassar, I was heartsick,” she continued. “How was this allowed to happen? Why didn’t we know earlier? How can we prohibit it from ever happening again?”
MSU is under investigation for its handling of sexual assault complaints. Multiple women say they reported former MSU doctor Larry Nassar to MSU officials – but they did nothing.
As this and other legislation moves through the House and Senate, some groups have come forward with concerns about unintended consequences. Those groups include public universities and the Catholic Church.
Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.
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MSU Fallout Continues As Lawmakers Consider Action