Michigan State University has reached a $500 million settlement with the hundreds of women and girls who say they were sexually assaulted and abused by gymnastics coach Larry Nassar.
The university said it will pay $425 million to the 332 victims, setting aside $75 million for any future victims who come forward. It’s not clear how the $425 million will be divided, and it is not clear how Michigan State will finance the payout. Nassar had contact with many of his victims at his Michigan State office, and the university was implicated in suits claiming school officials enabled his crimes.
Nassar, also the former team doctor for USA Gymnastics, pleaded guilty in February to numerous counts of sexual assault and abuse over decades, making it among the worst sex-abuse scandals in sports history. Nassar has admitted that he abused girls under the guise that he was offering them medical treatment. Olympic gold medalists Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney say they are victims of Nassar.
He faces a prison sentence of up to 175 years for the sexual abuse convictions, which would be in addition to the 60-year federal prison sentence he’s already serving for several counts of possessing child pornography.
Michigan State’s $500 million settlement vastly surpasses the $109 million deal Penn State University made with the dozens of men and boys who were assaulted by the school’s assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Cover image: In this Jan. 31, 2018, file photo, Larry Nassar appears for his sentencing at Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte, Michigan. (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP, File)