The fallout from the Larry Nassar sentence continues. ESPN reports that at least 16 players at Michigan State University, one of Nassar's former employers, have been accused of sexual assault or violence.
Just this year, the Michigan State Football off-season saw two separate investigations into a handful of players who were ultimately kicked out of school, but a detailed report from ESPN Outside The Lines revealed that this case was just one of many. The program's head coach Mark Dantonio is also in hot water, as he was named as having a direct hand in disciplining one of the players who seem to have been involved in multiple other incidents.
Dantonio has been said to have "resolved" an accusation against one player by simply talking to the their mother about the incident, according to former MSU sexual assault counselor Lauren Allswede. The lengthy report details how the allegations were poorly handled at the school. Allswede told ESPN OTL about an incident from seven years ago in which, "an attorney from the university’s general counsel’s department came to her office to try to reassure her that coaches were taking allegations of sexual violence seriously."
Reports and investigations of violence against women and assaults, including a reported gang rape, were largely kept confined and self-contained within MSU's athletic department — leading to plenty of overlooked instances that would not resurface until years later. One case, in particular, saw the Ingham County prosecutor’s office "declining to file charges" against four football players named as having been part of a gang rape, after dismissing the notebook entries of a former student, who is now deceased, as evidence. "The writings detailed a 2007 gang rape that named four football players. Detectives started what would become a months-long investigation involving multiple records, analysis and interviews. "
The report was unable to corroborate “whether campus police or any university administrator ever notified Dantonio about the incidents, or if they did, whether the coach ever disciplined any of the players.”
Michigan State has come under scrutiny recently for the way it handled abuse allegations against former employee Larry Nassar, who had sexual assault incidents from as far back as 1997. Just this week, Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison after a week-long trial that saw over 150 of his victims take the stand to recount their experiences.