Can State Lawmakers Prevent Another Nassar Scandal?

Jake Neher/WDET

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 MSUis 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:

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.

Related stories:
Nassar Abuse Survivor Rachael Denhollander Looks to Change Michigan’s Sexual Assault Laws
Is John Engler The Right Person To Lead MSU?
What Is the Role of Universities in Protecting Student Athletes?
MSU Fallout Continues As Lawmakers Consider Action


Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

Filed Under: #MichMash

This post is a part of MichMash.

Each week, WDET's Jake Neher and Michigan Public Radio's Cheyna Roth un-jumble Michigan issues and talk about how statewide news stories affect you. 

About the Author

Jake Neher

Detroit Today - Producer & Special Projects Reporter

Jake Neher is a producer & reporter for Detroit Today   Follow @GJNeher

Cheyna Roth


Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She’s also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.   Follow @Cheyna_R

Wait a second, there’s more…

MichMash: Making 'Boring Bills' Sexy Again

Monday Is The Last Day to Register for the August 7 Primaries in Michigan

MichMash: How To Watch Campaign Ads Responsibly

MichMash: Could Too Many Ballot Proposals Cause Political Overload for Voters?

MichMash: A Light At the End of The Tunnel For Line 5 Pipeline?

MichMash: Check Your Ballot Before You Wreck Your Ballot [VIDEO]

MichMash: When State Systems Fail--Your Right to Sue Could Be Ticking Away

MichMash: Who's 'Over The Line' In Dispute Between AG Schuette, Civil Rights Commission?

MichMash: How To Avoid Surprise, Confusion When You Hit The Bottom of Your Ballot

MichMash: 'The Ballad of Betty Jean,' Michigan's Real Life Political Mystery

MichMash: Do You Care About Celebrity Endorsements? Or Should We 'Terminate' Them?

MichMash: Do Running Mates Matter in Michigan's Race for Governor?

MichMash Elections Special: Breaking Down the Three Statewide Ballot Proposals

MichMash: Running Mates Don't Usually Make a Difference. You Should Still Care.

MichMash: Can You Handle This Truth? You Need to Research Your MI Supreme Court Races

What Would Largest School Aid Boost in 17 Years Actually Mean for MI Schools?

MichMash: Here's Why Dems Might Vote Against Minimum Wage Increase

MichMash: This Week's Elections Were Huge -- We're Not Talking About the Midterms

Medical Marijuana Licensing Drags On--Are State Regulators Prepared for Legalization?

MichMash: Will We or Won't We Be Allowed To Vote Straight-Party Ticket This November?

Four Tips for Watching Political Debates as Race for Governor Heats Up

MichMash: 'Sign Here!' Signature Requirement for Independent Candidates Up In The Air

Four Things You Should Know About Prevailing Wage in Michigan

We want to hear from you.
Share your thoughts and opinions: