A new lawsuit against Michigan State University alleges disgraced doctor Larry Nassar impregnated and videotaped a 17-year-old girl — and the university covered it up.
The federal suit filed earlier this week on behalf of Erika Davis of California, who attended MSU on a field hockey scholarship, and other plaintiffs, revealed Davis was drugged and raped on the guise of a medical examination for an injured knee in the spring of 1992 and a camera operator was present to film her attack.
Davis was examined twice and videotaped by a third party. At her first appointment, Nassar told her he was working on a flexibility study for the College of Osteopathic Medicine and so the camera operator was present. He asked her if she ever had a breast exam and when she replied no, he told her to take off her top and started groping and licking her breasts.
“During this time, the cameraman was filming Defendant Nassar’s sexual abuse of Plaintiff Erika,” the suit states.
Nassar then asked the victim to return for a “full exam” a week later. When David arrived for that appointment, she saw a camera was set up to film her. Nassar reportedly made her swallow a crushed up pill after which “she could not keep her eyelids open and got very woozy,” said the lawsuit.
She woke up about an hour later to find Nassar raping her. The shameless doctor then told her to return to him in about two months.
Davis, who suffered from “tremendous pain” as a result of her rape, confided in two of her friends. She then told her coach about it, who confronted Nassar in his office and demanded he give her the video, according to the lawsuit. However, when the coach went to the then-athletic director George Perles, he ordered her to give him the video, fired her and forced her to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
After a few weeks, Davis realized she was pregnant and the culprit was Nassar. Eventually, she miscarried.
After the miscarriage, Davis went to the campus police detective and told him about her harrowing ordeal. However, she received a disappointing reply from him, saying he was “powerless to investigate anything that takes place to the athletic department and to go to the athletic department.” When she informed him she had already been to them and they had done nothing, the police detective told her to drop the matter because Perles is “a powerful man.”
Soon after that, Davis’ hockey scholarship was taken away from her.
Perles has not spoken to media about the Nassar case since January when he, along with other MSU staff, apologized to the victims.
MSU has apologized in general for Nassar’s behavior over the decades and said they were still investigating the new allegations.
“We are deeply sorry for the abuses Larry Nassar has committed, and for the trauma experienced by all sexual assault survivors,” the university said in a statement. “Sexual abuse, assault and relationship violence are not tolerated in our campus community. While the protocols and procedures mentioned in this lawsuit do not reflect how sexual assault claims are handled at MSU, we are taking the allegations very seriously and looking into the situation.”
The lawsuit claims in a lengthy report that some of the other defendants, including MSU, board of trustees and other individuals and organizations, were informed of the sexual assault claims against Nassar but they took no action against him.
“Because MSU took no action to investigate the 1997 or 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 or 2002, and 2004 complaints and took no corrective action, from at least 1997 to 2016, under the guise of treatment, the other Plaintiffs, many of whom were minors, were also sexually assaulted, abused, and molested by Defendant Nassar,” the suit claims.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages greater than $75,000 for each plaintiff for claims including sexual discrimination in an educational setting, violations of civil rights, assault and battery and negligence on the part of Nassar and “fraud and misrepresentation that Nassar was a competent and safe physician,” on the part of MSU.
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