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Nassar survivor: Simon's resignation is "long overdue"

Morgan McCaul
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio
Morgan McCaul gives her statement at the Nassar sentencing.

“But alas, Larry, you are merely a symptom of a sickness which plagues the very core of Michigan State University, threatening every little girl who steps foot on that campus. A culture of sexual abuse, and the perverse, deliberate inaction to hold predators accountable.”

So said Morgan McCaul in her victim impact statement in the Larry Nassar sentencing Friday afternoon.

McCaul was not alone in her criticism of Michigan State. Many of the 156 survivors that spoke called on the university to be held accountable. Some specifically called for President Lou Anna Simon to resign.

And Wednesday night, she did just that. McCaul says that 18 months after Nassar was arrested and hundreds of women have spoken out, Simon’s resignation was long overdue.

“I’m happy that she’s finally stepped down, but I have to say her letter announcing her resignation was particularly tone-deaf. A little bit of a middle finger to victims on her way out, I feel. When you also look at the perks she’s gaining by resigning, it’s a little bit of a slap in the face.”

But in addition to her anger at Simon, McCaul was hurt by the MSU trustee Joel Ferguson’s comments dismissing the sex abuse scandal as “this Nassar thing.” McCaul revealed in a press conference Wednesday that she called Ferguson’s office the night before the sentencing to invite him to the courtroom.

“I thought it was important for him, and I wanted to express to him directly that as a survivor, it felt insulting. And frankly, the least he could do to show up for that last day of court, and he declined.”

McCaul says that after speaking with Ferguson, she felt like she hadn’t been heard:

“He gave me a lot of PR-sounding fluff. He told me that it was our time to look towards the future, which I also believe is insulting to me as a victim, because in the past, if people had done their job as MSU faculty ... I wouldn’t have been assaulted. To imply that my seeking accountability is holding his university back, I thought was insulting, insensitive, and derogatory. He also assured me that he had been watching the livestream ... however, when I asked him to come to court with me and drive a mere ten minutes away from where he currently was, he didn’t know what court we were in or what judge was presiding over sentencing.”

Listen to the conversation above.

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Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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