Michigan State reaches $500M settlement with Larry Nassar victims

Larry Nassar Survivors and Michigan State University announce they have successfully resolved existing litigation and agreed in principle to a $500 million global settlement

Victims of ex-Olympic doctor Larry Nassar settle with Michigan State for $500 million payment

Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty to 10 counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct.

But in August 2016, Rachael Denhollander, a Louisville woman, filed a police report accusing Nassar of sexually assaulting her years prior, when she was a teenage gymnast seeking his treatment, and then told her story to the Indianapolis Star. It does not extend to pending civil suits against the individuals and institutions that allegedly enabled or were negligent in preventing Nassar's abuse, including USA Gymnastics, the United States Olympic Committee, Twistars Gymnastics Club and gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi.

Under the terms of the agreement, the school will pay $425 million to those 332 current claimants, with $75 million set aside in a trust fund for any future claimants who allege sexual abuse by Nassar.

Nassar used to work at the school as a sports doctor.

Lindsey Lemke, a former MSU gymnast who was a team captain on the women's team and a Nassar accuser, hailed the settlement as a "victory".

The settlement in principle was agreed to by Michigan State's board of trustees in a conference call Tuesday night, the statement said.

"This is a passion all of the Sister Survivors share, and one which has not diminished or changed", she said.

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During his marathon-sentencing hearings in MI courtrooms, Nassar was forced to come face-to-face with hundreds of his victims who during their gut-wrenching testimony detailed how they were abused by Nassar.

Interim MSU president John Engler has maintained throughout the proceedings that the settlement costs will be paid by both tuition and state aid, but MI lawmakers have balked at these proposals.

The university's board of trustees said in a statement it is "truly sorry to all the survivors and their families" and said it admired their courage in speaking out.

Now, in the midst of ongoing lawsuits and investigations, the sport of gymnastics is figuring out how to move forward; and advocates and victims, like Aly, are continuing to speak out about sexual assault and advocate for change.

The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday that the university agreed to the half-billion dollar settlement, which includes $425 million that will be paid out to the now known victims. He admitted in court earlier this year to sexually abusing young girls and women over two decades. The Los Angeles archdiocese in 2007 paid $660 million to 508 victims. The school has also cut ties with former president Lou Anna Simon and former athletic director Mark Hollis as a result of the Nassar scandal.

The statement did not indicate how much money each victim would receive and it also did not say how Michigan State would pay the bill. Those who spoke at the many days of sentencing remain in my thoughts every day, and their strength is an inspiration to us all.

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