We Are Spartans


Victims of Larry Nassar turn sights to MSU, others after federal sentencing

Posted at 7:13 AM, Dec 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 08:31:07-05

"I just want them to say something. Yes, we understand, we're sorry. Just something."

That's a somber Tiffany Thomas Lopez. She went to MSU in 1999 as a softball player, claiming she had been assaulted by Larry Nassar. She says she wasn't believed.

The five victims who spoke Thursday are suing MSU and USA Gymnastics in civil court.

They don't feel like the university will be able to protect girls or help victims of sexual assault on campus without major changes.

"The clear disrespect shown to us victims is a clear example of how Larry was able to stay in his position of authority at MSU for as long as he did," states Sterling Wreathman, a former swimmer at Michigan State University.

MSU denies disrespecting the victims.

In an email, the university's spokesperson says "as our president has said, we recognize the pain sexual violence causes and deeply regret any time someone in our community experiences it."

The statement goes on to say MSU will tell police immediately if it finds any employee knew about Nassar's conduct.

The victims are grateful that Nassar will spend the rest of his life in prison.

"Because of judge Neff's actions today, little girls won't have to look at themselves in the mirror and beg themselves to stop shaking when every bone, and every organ, and every fiber of your being is disgusted and terrified of what has happened to you, all they can do it tremble and shake and try to escape and he will spend his life behind bars," Sterling describes in a powerful written statement.

But they say that's not enough. They say Michigan state ignored them in the past. Now they want the university to admit it:

"It would do so much, like it would relieve so much," Lopez explains. "It would help me to just feel like at ease if you would just admit what you know. Admit that I came to you, I said something to you, I spoke out to you. Just tell your side of the story."