Michigan State University will pay $500 million to more than 300 women and girls who say the university’s former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused them, the institution announced in a press release.
The Michigan State University Board of Trustees agreed to the settlement on Tuesday, with plans to pay $435 million to the 332 current accusers and set aside another $75 million in case other victims come forward.
In another release, Brian Breslin, chair of the MSU Board of Trustees, said in a statement, “We are truly sorry to all the survivors and their families for what they have been through, and we admire the courage it has taken to tell their stories. We recognize the need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention.”
“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,” attorney John Manly, who represents some of the victims, told CNN in a statement in response.
“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.”
Earlier this year, Nassar was sentenced to more than 175 years in prison for sexually abusing women and girls for decades during his time at Michigan State University and as a team USA Gymnastics doctor. Many victims claimed Nassar inserted ungloved fingers into their vaginas and told them he was simply giving them medical treatment.
Manly has said that the settlement applies only to MSU and does not address sexual abuse claims within USA Gymnastics, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Manly did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
Nassar was fired from MSU in 2016. And several victims have said they tried to warn university officials about Nassar’s abuse before he was arrested, according to ESPN.
“Michigan State is pleased that we have been able to agree in principle on a settlement that is far to the survivors of Nassar’s crimes,” Robert Young, special counsel to MSU, said in a statement. “We appreciate the hard work both sides put into the mediation, and the efforts of the mediator, which achieved a result that is responsible and equitable.”
Nassar has been called “the most prolific child molester in history.”