The Latest: MSU trustee sorry for comments on Nassar case

AP News
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Posted: Jan 23, 2018 10:29 PM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing of Michigan sports doctor Larry Nassar and other developments in the case (all times local):

10:20 p.m.

Michigan State University Trustee Joel Ferguson is apologizing for comments he made on a radio show that some said trivialized the suffering of victims of Michigan sports doctor Larry Nassar.

In stating that University President Lou Anna Simon won't be forced out over the Nassar scandal, Ferguson told WVFN-AM this week: "There's so many more things going on at the university than just this Nassar thing."

She added that Ferguson "recognizes the suffering of these young women and had intended to refer to it as 'the Nassar tragedy.'"

Rossman-McKinney is not representing MSU or the board.

Simon is under intense pressure to resign, with calls for her to step down coming from students, some faculty members and at least one board member.

Ferguson insists the scandal won't tarnish Simon's legacy as university president, saying he's confident an attorney-general investigation into MSU will find its "senior people are not complicit in what this pervert did."

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4:50 p.m.

A judge says a Michigan sports doctor who assaulted Olympic gymnasts and other female athletes will get his sentence Wednesday, the seventh day of an extraordinary court hearing.

More than 150 women and girls have talked in court about being molested by Larry Nassar or had their statements read by others. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina will hear a few more Wednesday before sentencing Nassar in Lansing, Michigan.

He faces a minimum prison term of 25 to 40 years for assaulting victims with his hands. Nassar worked for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains the best gymnasts.

An 18-year-old, Emily Morales, says she believes in forgiveness. She looked at Nassar and asked him to apologize. He did. She replied with, "Thank you."

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2 p.m.

A senior member of Michigan State University's governing board says President Lou Anna Simon won't resign due to the Larry Nassar scandal.

Joel Ferguson tells East Lansing, Michigan, radio station WVFN it "will not happen. Period."

There's a growing call for Simon to step down over how the university handled sexual assault allegations against Nassar, who was a campus sports doctor. At a sentencing hearing that's gone on for a week, more than 130 women and girls have confronted Nassar or had statements read in court.

Many victims say they complained years ago but nothing happened. A former prosecutor hired by Michigan State said there's no evidence that campus officials knew what Nassar was doing.

Ferguson says there are "so many more things going on" at Michigan State "than just this Nassar thing." He says Simon has been the best president in his 30 years as a trustee. Simon has been president since 2005.

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1:20 p.m.

A former member of the U.S. national gymnastics team has described being sexually assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar and given an unflattering portrayal of the Karolyi training ranch in Texas.

Mattie Larson says Nassar's fingers "always seemed to find a way" to her genitals, even when she had ankle and foot injuries. She's among the victims testifying Tuesday at Nassar's sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan.

Larson says the Karolyi ranch outside Huntsville, Texas, was very isolated. She called it the "perfect environment" for Nassar and abusive coaches "to thrive." USA Gymnastics last week said the ranch would no longer serve as the national training center.

More than 130 women and girls have confronted Nassar or had their statements read in court.

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10:20 a.m.

A former elite gymnast says a Michigan sports doctor assaulted her while failing for weeks to diagnose a broken leg.

Isabell Hutchins gave a victim-impact statement Tuesday, the sixth day of testimony before Larry Nassar is sentenced for molesting women and girls while he worked at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics.

Hutchins traveled two hours to Nassar's Lansing-area home to see him for leg injuries. She says she could barely walk but that Nassar never recommended an X-ray. She continued to compete in national events.

Hutchins told Nassar, "You didn't heal me. You only hurt me."

About three dozen more people want to give statements, raising the overall number to 158 since last week. Before the hearing resumed Tuesday, Nassar read a piece of paper and shook his head.

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8:35 a.m.

A sentencing hearing for a former sports doctor who sexually assaulted young gymnasts may be nearing the end.

Larry Nassar is due back in a Lansing, Michigan, courtroom Tuesday. More than 120 girls and women, including former Olympic gold medalists, have confronted him or had statements read on their behalf over five emotional days of sentencing.

At least 35 more victims want to speak.

Nassar already has been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes. Under a plea deal, he will get a minimum of 25 to 40 years for digitally penetrating girls under the guise of medical treatment between 1998 and 2015.