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Were you or a loved one sexually abused while training through one of Michigan State University's athletics programs? You are not alone. Hundreds of young gymnasts have already filed sexual abuse lawsuits against Michigan State, joining the national push for change in the wake of the shocking Larry Nassar scandal. We believe hundreds of other young student athletes have yet to come forward, both at Michigan State University and colleges across the country.
Sexual Abuse Scandal Grips Michigan State University
The Larry Nassar scandal has forced us to ask serious questions about how student athletes are protected on their road to international competition. In many ways, Michigan State is where this national conversation began.
Accused of sexual abuse and molestation by hundreds of gymnasts, Nassar is now a convicted child molester. Michigan State's prestigious gymnastics club, affiliated with USA Gymnastics, is now disgraced. MSU's former gymnastics coach, Kathie Klages, has turned herself in to the police. University President Lou Anna Simon has resigned. The entire board of USA Gymnastics stepped down.
This reckoning, years in the making, was made possible only through the bravery and determination of so many sexual abuse survivors, young women who chose to fight through the fear of embarrassment and retaliation to stand up and have their voices heard.
Lawsuits: MSU Failed To Act On Sexual Abuse Complaints
Now, by the dozens, these courageous young athletes are standing up in another way, filing personal injury lawsuits against Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee. Michigan State has already settled many of these lawsuits for $425 million, although $75 million has been set-aside for future claims.
Each of these organizations, the young women say, hid Larry Nassar's abuse from the police, the public and members of the Michigan State community. Complaints were concealed, they say, hidden from public view. Nassar was enabled, plaintiffs continue, by a culture in which the reputation of coaches was prioritized over the safety of Olympic-level athletes.
But their allegations don't end with gymnastics. In new lawsuits filed against the University of Southern California and Ohio State University, young athletes from the worlds of diving, swimming and taekwondo make a shockingly similar set of allegations against their own alma maters.
Other Sports May Be Implicated
Echoing allegations from the Michigan State lawsuits, these brave young women accuse high-level executives in USA Swimming, USA Diving, USA Wrestling and USA Taekwondo, along with those at the US Olympic Committee, of ignoring or concealing serious sexual abuse complaints from the public and members of the sporting community. College athletics, these plaintiffs claim, is rife with sexual abuse and exploitation. At every turn, they continue, the US Olympic Committee has worked to conceal sexual abuse complaints from the public, all in an effort to preserve its reputation and lucrative sponsorship deals.
Is Change Coming For College Athletics?
If these allegations are true, we believe the culture of college athletics must change. Recent revelations suggest that high-level athletics programs across the country may have hidden sexual abuse reports from the appropriate law enforcement authorities, some going back decades.
In our own work, we are fighting to put an end to this crisis once and for all, but we need your help to do so. In light of recent scandals at universities, our experienced sexual abuse attorneys have opened a full investigation into Michigan State University's sexual assault policies.
Lawyers Open Full Michigan State University Investigation
If you or a loved one were sexually abused while training at Michigan State, our prayers and deepest condolences go out to you. We understand the powerful and painful range of emotions that sexual abuse can cause. Many survivors struggle to confront feelings of shame and embarrassment, guilt and anger. Coming forward to share your story can seem all but impossible.
At the same time, it's only through the concerted efforts of sexual abuse survivors that true change is made possible. We've already seen how the voices of young gymnasts, raised by the hundreds in civil court documents, has brought USA Gymnastics and Michigan State to table for a real and honest conversation about meaningful change. If abuse is widespread, as recent plaintiffs claim, a similar reckoning may be on the way in other sports.
You can raise your voice for change. We can help. Our only goal is to ensure that sexual abuse survivors receive the compassion and support they deserve. We believe you, and we believe your story must be told. If you were abused, contact our attorneys for a free consultation today. We can help you come forward safely. Sexual abuse does not need to define your life.