Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is accused of abusing more than 265 people, and he’s already been convicted on multiple counts. But ongoing investigations are still trying to uncover how he managed to keep law enforcement off his back for decades.
As it turns out, one police department in Michigan just needed to question the PowerPoint Nassar showed them.
In 2004, the Meridian Township Police Department was investigating Nassar after 17-year-old Brianne Randall-Gay said he’d massaged her breasts and tried to stick his fingers into her vagina during a visit about scoliosis. The officers, however, decided not to pass the case on to prosecutors after Nassar showed them a PowerPoint that explained these actions were necessary for medical treatment.
"We missed it," Meridian Township Manager Frank Walsh said in a statement Wednesday. "We’re not going to hide it. We were deceived." Randall-Gay accepted a public apology from the township police on Thursday, adding that their remorse eases her pain but doesn't make it go away, the AP reported.
Nassar explained in his presentation to police that the touching was part of an accepted medical treatment called “Sacrotuberous Ligament Release” which would relieve muscle pain, records show. It’s a legitimate medical procedure, experts say, but one that shouldn’t be performed without detailed explanation to a minor and their parent, as well as permission. The procedure should also be done over clothes with gloves.
Still, police bought it. Afterward, an officer got in touch with Randall-Gay’s mother and told her they “would be closing the case with no prosecution sought, due to the facts presented to me by Dr. Nassar,” records show.
"You had audacity to tell (police) I misunderstood the treatment because I was not comfortable with my body," Randall-Gay told Nassar last week during a sentencing hearing.
The revelation comes from documents released Wednesday as part of Nassar’s third and final sentencing hearing, for molesting gymnasts at a Michigan gymnastics club. More than 65 women are expected to confront the doctor and share victim impact statements over the course of the multiday hearing.
Nassar has already been sentenced to up to 175 years on sexual abuse charges and another 60 for child pornography.
Cover image: Larry Nassar appears for his sentencing at Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Cory Morse /The Grand Rapids Press via AP)