After 80 women have claimed to have been sexually assaulted by former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, the first judgement, of possibly many, has come down against Nassar.
According to the Lansing State Journal, Michigan State’s Title IX office found that Nassar sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl in an examination 17 years ago. This comes after the same office cleared Nassar of sexual assault allegations in 2014.
The latest Title IX findings are based on the allegations by former USA gymnast Rachel Denhollander, who described her assault to the Indianapolis Star in September 2016:
Denhollander filed a criminal complaint against Nassar two weeks ago with Michigan State University Police, alleging the doctor sexually assaulted her when she received treatment for lower back pain as a 15-year-old club-level gymnast in 2000. University officials confirmed that police are conducting a criminal investigation.
She said Nassar gradually became more abusive over five treatments, massaging her genitals, penetrating her vagina and anus with his finger and thumb and unhooking her bra and massaging her breasts. She said she also relayed those details to police.
Nassar’s attorney said his client never used a procedure that involved penetration.
Denhollander said her mother was present during Nassar’s treatments, but that he positioned himself and her in such a way that only her head and back were visible.“I was terrified,” she recalled. “I was ashamed. I was very embarrassed. And I was very confused, trying to reconcile what was happening with the person he was supposed to be. He’s this famous doctor. He’s trusted by my friends. He’s trusted by these other gymnasts. How could he reach this position in the medical profession, how could he reach this kind of prominence and stature if this is who he is?”
Since Denhollander spoke out, and filed a civil suit with another unnamed gymnast against Nassar, more than 80 women have reportedly told police that they have been sexually assaulted by Nassar, and 78 of them are suing Nassar and Michigan State University.
Nassar has been indicted on child pornography charges, and he faces 23 sexual assault charges, including charges of assaulting a victim under the age of 13.
None of the civil or criminal charges have been resolved yet—Nassar pled not guilty to the charges—but the Title IX decision is the first to time one of the victims has one a judgement against Nassar.