Michigan prosecutor on Nassar case: “Thank God we have these journalists”

“One of the reasons that the sexual abuse by Larry Nassar went on for so long, the chief prosecutor said at his sentencing, was that children’s claims that they were being abused were ignored by adults,” as the IndyStar is reporting.

“Nassar, who was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years to 175 years in prison, treated young gymnasts and other athletes for nearly 20 years as the team physician for USA Gymnastics and as a sports physician at Michigan State University, before being fired.

“But no one doubted the world-renowned doctor’s explanations and repeated denials of abuse, Michigan Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis said, until IndyStar first published claims of his abuse from former gymnast Rachael Denhollander.

“The Star’s ‘Out of Balance’ investigative series about abuse by Nassar and the failure by USA Gymnastics to protect young gymnasts from child predators was first published in August of 2016. IndyStar reporters Marisa Kwiatkowski, Tim Evans and Mark Alesia filed public records requests in 10 states, reviewed thousands of pages of documents, and conducted interviews with people throughout the U.S. to reveal a long pattern of sexual abuse by USA Gymnastics coaches and assistants. Photographer Robert Scheer and editor Steve Berta assisted in the investigation.

“His (Nassar’s) practiced and perfected abuse spanned over 25 years and included countless victims,” Povilaitis said. “But we know his access to children and young women and his abuse did not end until an investigative news report and one brave woman came public to stop him.”

“‘It shouldn’t take investigative journalists to expose predators. … It should not take one brave woman put into the unenviable position and choice to go public with her name and be the only public person for months.'”

“But thank God we have these journalists, and that they exposed the truth and that they continue to cover this story.”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

3 thoughts on “Michigan prosecutor on Nassar case: “Thank God we have these journalists””

  1. Some other insightful articles about this horror: “Like Penn State with Sandusky, Michigan State failed to stop Nassar.” https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/columnists/gregg-doyel/2018/01/22/doyel-like-penn-state-sandusky-michigan-state-failed-stop-nassar/1054245001/

    Or Joan Ryan’s commentary: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/larry-nassar-just-beginning-gymnastics-culture-has-been-abusive-decades-ncna840001
    “And yet, 23 years later, it seems nothing has changed. The culture of elite women’s gymnastics is as corrosive, secretive and indifferent to the athletes’ well-being as it has always been.”

  2. Considering all of the #ME TOO people coming out of the woodwork, one can only conclude that whenever there is fame and/or fortune or sometimes just a living to be had, whether in sports, entertainment, business, or just in the everyday workplace, there are people willing to use their positions of power for abuse. Perhaps our culture’s preoccupation with material success and being a ‘winner’ as a measure of one’s worth plays a role in both the victim’s and the perpetrator’s lives. The former is vulnerable to promises or reassurances of success and that the latter uses that as a lever. How many of the victims have kept quiet for fear of damaging their careers or losing their job? And how many people have turned their backs?

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