GYMNASTICS-USA-ABUSE

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Michigan State University will reportedly pay $500 million to settle lawsuits brought by victims of former MSU associate professor and physician Larry Nassar, who sexually abused 332 women and young girls. According to a joint statement released by attorney John Manly and MSU on Wednesday (May 16), $425 million will be paid to current claimants, while $75 million “will be set aside in a trust fund to protect any future claimants alleging sexual abuse” by Nassar.

“There will be no confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure agreements attached to the settlement,” the statement continues. “Additionally, the parties must act to address items necessary to finalize the agreement.”

As CNN notes, the settlement, which the MSU Board of Trustees agreed to during a Tuesday night conference call, only applies to MSU and does not mention lawsuits against USA Gymnastics, the United States Olympic Committee, or others.

“This historic settlement came about through the bravery of more than 300 women and girls who had the courage to stand up and refuse to be silenced,” Manly added. “It is the sincere hope of all of the survivors that the legacy of this settlement will be far reaching institutional reform that will end the threat of sexual assault in sports, schools and throughout our society.”

Nassar, who is currently in federal prison, was sentenced to 100 years behind bars after admitting in court to sexually abusing women and young girls over a span of nearly two decades. He was working both as a university medical doctor and a physician for the United States Olympic gymnastics team at the time. Among the victims who spoke out was Simone Biles, who, in January, came forward as one of the many survivors who was sexually abused by Nassar.

“For too long I have asked myself, ‘Was I too naive? Was it my fault?’ I now know the answers to those questions,” she said in a statement. “No, it was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG [USA Gymnastics], and others.”

Read more about the settlement via the MSU website.