Less than a month after former physician Larry Nassar plead guilty to sexual misconduct charges, USA Gymnastics is claiming innocence in civil suits.
The organization, which employed Nassar for years, asked judges to dismiss a host of lawsuits.
On the same day, USA Gymnastics released a statement saying that it was “sorry that any athlete has been harmed during his or her gymnastics career.” Shortly after, its attorneys filed a motion to do away with some 93 separate suits.
The New York Daily News reports that documents submitted to the court contended that, “while Nassar is liable to the plaintiffs, USAG is not.”
“Most of the plaintiffs failed to timely assert their claims, and, therefore, their claims are time-barred.”
On top of that, USA Gymnastics claims that “most of the plaintiffs allege they were assaulted at MSU, at Twistars or at Nassar’s home – places where Nassar was acting outside of any relationship with USAG.”
An attorney for several of Nassar’s victims, John Manly, criticized the statement harshly, saying it was “indicative of their views.”
Former Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman – who says she was among Nassar’s estimated 130 victims – believes organizational policies need to be reviewed and re-implemented to stop predators from continuing to exploit young athletes.
“We must look at the organizations that protected Nassar for years,” she wrote in an essay. “Until we understand the flaws in their systems, we can’t be sure something like this won’t happen again.”
Meanwhile, Michigan State University has continued to receive flak for its shortcomings in the case.
Michigan House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) blasted MSU’s president, Lou Anna Simon, demanding she resign.
Leonard, according to MLive.com and the Lansing State Journal, is seeking the 2018 Republican nomination for Michigan Attorney General.
His condemnations were publicly posted on Facebook over the weekend, with a spokesperson confirming his stance Tuesday. Published in the form of an open letter, Leonard slammed MSU and Simon for keeping the results of an internal investigation into Nassar under wraps.
“In light of your failing, it is time for the U.S. Department of Justice, the F.B.I., the Michigan State Police, and the Attorney General to put witnesses under oath, find out who knew what and when, and get to the bottom of what happened,” wrote Leonard.
“At best,” he continued, “you have clearly proved yourself grossly incompetent. At worst, you are covering something up and shielding bad actors from the justice these victims deserve. It is well past time for all of us to find out the truth.”
Although his attacks may be politically motivated, Leonard isn’t alone in asking Michigan State to clarify its take on Larry Nassar.
Last week, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette sent an open letter to the university, requesting that it release the results of an internal investigation on Nassar and his purported criminal activities.