More Women Accuse Former USA Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar of Sexual Abuse -- and Claim College Officials Tried to Hide It
Michigan State University students say the school tried to shield them from speaking about their sexual abuse claims against Dr. Larry Nassar
A group of Michigan State University students are accusing former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexually abusing them over hundreds of sessions — and alleging that school officials told them to keep quiet about the allegations.
As Nassar faces nearly two dozen sexual abuse charges for allegedly assaulting seven victims, at least four women have revealed their own abusive experience with the doctor when he treated the women gymnasts at Michigan State University.
Amanda told NBC News that she felt “incredibly violated” when Nassar allegedly abused her during an appointment for her hip and back pain.
“When he started to actually insert his fingers, that’s when I pushed him off of me and I told him, ‘You have to stop,’ ” Amanda said, noting that Nassar did not wear gloves and did not tell her he was going to do so.
Nassar, 53, was fired by USA Gymnastics in 2015 and MSU months later as sexual abuse allegations from dozens of women came flooding in.
The alleged assaults occurred during medical appointments, according to testimony. These included procedures involving digital vaginal and anal penetration, the Lansing State Journal reports.
Nassar has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges and denied any wrongdoing — maintaining that the procedures he performed on the gymnasts were legitimate, NBC News reports.
School officials conducted an investigation into Amanda’s incident and determined that there was no evidence indicating that Nassar’s “conduct was of a sexual nature,” NBC reports. They deemed the procedure “medically appropriate.”
However, Amanda said she does not see it that way.
“I knew that what he was doing to me was sexual,” she told NBC.
Lindsey Lemke spoke of her own experience with the university after she was allegedly assaulted by the doctor over “500 or more” sessions — and noted that some of her teammates had experienced abuse as well.
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“Never were any of us asked, you know, ‘do you feel you are a victim?’ or ‘If you feel you need to talk to somebody you can, these are people you can talk to,’ ” Lemke said.
Instead, Lemke said, school officials told the team not to talk to media. University officials denied Lemke’s claim, telling NBC, “We have consistently and repeatedly tried to get information to the MSU community.”
Nassar is currently in jail without bail on the criminal charges, including counts of sexually abusing a family friend and possessing child pornography, the New York Times reports.
The new testimony comes as twenty more women join a federal lawsuit against the university and Nassar, according to the Lansing State Journal. Now, nearly 80 women have accused Nassar of sexually abuse.
University officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.