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Lawmakers roll out Nassar response legislation

Larry Nassar
Jodi Westrick
Michigan Radio

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers have a plan to fight sexual assault against young people. Some of the bills could have an impact on future lawsuits against Michigan State University.

The school has come under fire recently for accusations that it ignored complaints against former MSU sports doctor, Larry Nassar. Nassar was recently sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in prison for sexually assaulting young women. Multiple women are currently suing the school.

Lindsey Lemke says she reported Nassar to an MSU official, but was ignored.

“I was attempted to be silenced the exact same way so many women were silenced at Michigan State for decades. This legislation will change that. Brave survivors who come forward will not be dismissed,” Lemke said.

Some legislation would change the statute of limitations for filing a civil claim in cases of sexual assault. Another bill that could affect MSU would get rid of governmental immunity for entities that allowed sexual assaults to occur.          

Jordyn Weiber is one of Nassar’s victims. She says this legislation will protect children now and in the future.

"It will make necessary and sweeping changes in criminal and civil law that will protect children, hold abusers and their enablers accountable, and guarantee every survivor their day in court,” Wieber said.

The legislation would, among other things, require coaches and trainers to report suspicions of abuse and increase the statute of limitations for sexual assault claims.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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