Michigan State University Gymnastics Head Coach Kathie Klages has been at the helm of their program for over 27 years. I have never met Kathie and it’s unlikely we will meet at a gymnastics competition, but I know a lot about her. Now that the news has broken about allegations that university officials told athletes not to discuss Nassar with police, I can confirm a parent of a MSU scholarship gymnast also told me that MSU employees and their “legal team” have told members of the gymnastics team not to cooperate with the authorities recently. If those allegations are true, MSU may be obstructing justice, which is a crime.
Now I will connect the rest of the dots. Based on my investigation over the last 30 days, it has become clear to me that on multiple occasions before 2000, young MSU junior program minors told MSU’s head coach Kathie Klages they thought Dr. Nassar was doing something inappropriate to them. On at least one occasion, Coach Klages in 1997 told a 16-year-old girl that she “must be misunderstanding or reading into what he was doing.” Klages then intimidated the young girl at that time by holding a piece of paper in the air in front of her saying “I could file something but there would be serious consequences for both you and Dr. Nassar.”
Can you imagine? The same day this minor child had an appointment with Nassar, after this confrontation. He told her that “Kathie had called him to let him know about their earlier conversation” and that “she was not understanding a proper medical treatment.” With that ploy he manipulated her again into another sexual assault. For minor low back pain complaints, he would have her get completely naked from the waist down, no gown, no gloves, lay her on her stomach mostly, and put his fingers inside her, rubbing very hard while making grunting noises. He reassured her it was a procedure to make her back feel better. There is more, but that will come out later if MSU continues to attempt to use “alternative facts” like they are now about the child pornography Nassar possessed.
Michigan’s Child Protection Act requires certain individuals like school counselors or teachers to report child abuse or neglect. If a person who is required by law to report such an instance of suspected child abuse or neglect fails to do so, they can be civilly liable for the damages proximately caused by the failure and may also be guilty of a criminal misdemeanor punishable by a fine and imprisonment.
So no Joel Ferguson, current vice chair and longtime chair of the MSU Board of Trustees, the MSU community does not think Nassar is the only bad guy. We think MSU allowed this to happen. We think MSU failed to act timely and is attempting to cover up for their lack of keeping girls safe on campus.
If MSU would have done what it should have back in 2000, based on the info I was able to uncover in only 1 month, and then hadn’t dropped the ball again in 2014, the sexual abuse in 2015 and 2016 to the minor our law firm represents would never have happened.
It’s time to lance the boil. This is the Penn State scandal on steroids. The entire country will be watching. Please do the right thing on this, Michigan State University.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.