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Larry Nassar: The Last Time We Should Have to Say #MeToo

January 20th, 2018 by David Minces

In the last few months, the #MeToo movement has brought to light many shocking cases of sexual abuse and harassment by powerful figureheads in media, government, and much more. One of the most horrific was the abuse by Larry Nassar, a former physician for the US Gymnastic Team and Michigan State University. What makes his case stand out is the sheer number of victims Nassar abused and the high profile of many of his victims. Of the nearly 100 females who have come out against Nassar, many are household names, including Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, and Simone Biles (a gymnast who we are proud to say grew up in Houston).

gmb-monkey-518182Photo by GMB Monkey on Unsplash

What Nassar did

Nassar’s sexual crimes and investigations predate #MeToo by years. Nassar first faced allegations in 1997, and has been under investigation several times since 2014 for sexual abuse-related claims. Many of his now-adult victims were teens and even children when they were abused by Nassar. He would manipulate young girls using psychological tricks to more easily victimize them and cover up his tracks. Nassar also went to lengths to protect himself legally. For example, McKayla Maroney was bound by a non-disclosure agreement with US Gymnastics from speaking out against her physician. She did anyways, and Chrissy Teigen, Kristen Bell, and others offered to help her pay the $100,000 penalty for breaking her NDA. US Gymnastics ended up waiving the fee.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing

Nassar’s predation continued for longer than it should have thanks to inaction on behalf of individuals and major organizations. Athletic directors and coaches, including the famous Bela and Marta Karolyi of Karolyi Ranch, are accused of ignoring allegations against Nassar for years. MSU allowed Nassar to continue seeing patients while he was under investigation in 2014 for sexual assault. The US Olympic Committee took ten months to begin investigations on Nassar after sexual assault was first reported. Steve Penny, the longtime CEO of USA Gymnastics, resigned in the wake of the scandal, and for good reason. USA Gymnastics employed many of the accusers. As their employer, if USA Gymnastics failed to take adequate steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, it is guilty of creating a hostile environment for its gymnasts and violating employee protections.

Better than thisPhoto by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash

The importance of believing victims

When victims of sexual assault come forward and are believed, dozens of people are saved from future abuse. The first allegations against Nassar were made by MSU athletes in 1997, the year Simone Biles was born. Unfortunately, these victims were brushed off and Nassar’s career and abuse continued for twenty years longer than it should have. Minces PLLC is devoted to stopping this cycle of abuse, harassment and inaction. Our goal is to seek justice for anyone impacted by sexual harassment, and hold everyone involved to be held accountable for their actions and inactions in serious cases like this. All of us at Minces PLLC are passionate and aggressive in our thirst for justice to be served and equality to prevail. If you are seeking zealous representation to right a wrong like this, we can help. 

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