Politicizing a Pervert: Parties Take Aim Over Gymnastics Doc's Sexual Abuse
Michigan State University president Lou Anna K. Simon predicted the Larry Nassar case would go political soon after the former Michigan State University sports and USA Gymnastics physician was sentenced to 175 years in prison on Jan. 24 for sexually abusing his patients.
Nassar was also sentenced to 60 years in prison after being convicted of federal child pornography charges Dec. 7.
“As tragedies are politicized, blame is inevitable. As president, it is only natural that I am the focus of this anger,” Simon said in a statement as she announced her resignation following the Nassar sexual abuse verdict.
Then, the politicians proved Simon correct.
“Who will hold the people who failed these brave women accountable so this NEVER happens again? I hope the answer is #SpartansWill,” Gretchen Whitmer, the leading candidate in the Michigan Democratic gubernatorial primary, tweeted.
“For the sake of the survivors, our students, future Spartans, and MI taxpayers -- it's time to launch an independent investigation,” Whitmer added.
To which Michigan Republican Party communications director Sarah Anderson replied in a statement: “This morning, in a cheap attempt to seize headlines, Gretchen Whitmer called for the people who failed Larry Nassar’s victims to be held accountable. In my opinion, that should start with her.”
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who is also one of the leading candidates in the Michigan GOP’s gubernatorial primary, made Whitmer’s wish come true.
“It is abundantly clear that a full and complete investigation of what happened at Michigan State University, from the president’s office on down, is required. This investigation is and will continue to be, independent, thorough, transparent and prompt,” said Schuette. “My department and this investigation will find out who knew what, and when.”
Anderson said Whitmer should be held accountable for not taking action.
“As Interim Ingham County Prosecutor Gretchen Whitmer had the chance to hold Larry Nassar accountable for the crimes that he committed against hundreds of women. Instead she chose to pass the buck. It’s clear that when it’s time to stand up for what is right and make a real difference #WhitmerWont,” Anderson said.
While the proposition of a Democratic gubernatorial candidate being on the wrong side of an investigation conducted by a Republican gubernatorial candidate might seem the result of expedient opportunism, it has to be noted this is not the first time Schuette has been involved in the Nassar case.
Nassar was linked with sexual abuse allegations in a Michigan State University police report in August 2016. The MSU Police asked the state attorney general for assistance.
Schuette’s office charged Nassar with three felony counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree. The victim was under 13 years of age, according to an Attorney General’s Office statement.