Nassar-Weinstein; how it happened

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How Larry Nassar got away with it for so long

USA Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney's impact statement went even further. It included a direct and unequivocal assault on the institutions that she claims willfully ignored, and therefore perpetuated, Nassar's abuse: Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and the United States Olympic Committee.

In short, both Raisman and Maroney's statements point to a system of institutional complicity, whereby the organizations surrounding Nassar perpetuated his heinous and criminal conduct. As more and more details emerge surrounding the administrative policies and procedures that were the necessary backdrop to Nassar's scheme, we need to ask ourselves how our institutions could have so systematically enabled this kind of criminal behavior for so long, and how we can prevent it from happening in the future.

According to a Detroit News investigation, at least 14 Michigan State University representatives received reports of sexual misconduct by Nassar in the 20 years leading up to his arrest. A Title IX investigation at MSU in 2014 cleared Nassar of any policy violations after he was accused of inappropriately touching a patient. Yet Nassar, who began working for the USA Gymnastics team in 1995, was not fired until 2016. An attorney for Michigan State has defended MSU's response to Nassar in a letter to the Michigan attorney general.

During his tenure as the team physician for USA Gymnastics, Nassar was allegedly allowed to examine and treat athletes alone in private rooms, in violation of the organization's standards of conduct. In an unrelated 2013 lawsuit, USA Gymnastics officials testified that the organization routinely dismissed sexual abuse allegations as hearsay if they did not come directly from a victim or the victim's parents.