Survivors of Larry Nassar abuse call for interim Michigan State President John Engler to step down

120 survivors sign letter explaining why they believe Engler needs to go

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse joined a host of lawmakers and two Michigan State University trustees calling for interim MSU President John Engler to step down.

They all signed a letter explaining why they believe Engler needs to go.

From day one, Engler's interim presidency at MSU has been controversial. Survivors who voiced their opposition to Engler in the past put it in writing on Tuesday.

"There is no debate: President Engler has failed miserably," the letter says. "President Engler's statements and behavior are subtle threats against anyone who dares to speak up against their abuser."

READJudge in Nassar case calls Engler a 'bully'

Survivors pointed to specific moments as evidence of Engler reinforcing what they call the culture of abuse at Michigan State. One example was his handling of the April 13 board meeting, when Nassar abuse survivor Kaylee Lorincz showed up to read a long statement, accusing Engler of trying to pay her off.

While giving her statement, Lorincz was interrupted by Engler several times. He insisted that her time was up and cut her off while she read, angering the crowd.

"President Engler has only reinforced the culture of abuse at MSU," the letter says.

When recently disclosed Engler emails revealed he suggested Nassar's first public accuser might have been looking for a kickback, it started a new round of demand for change at the university.

"Future and current survivors who deserve justice should know they can raise their voice without being characterized as pawns too foolish to know they are manipulated," the letter says. "Therefore, it is our position that MSU cannot move forward and become an institution of integrity and safety until John Engler is no longer president and a new interim leader who will stand against an abusive culture is found."

The letter also has some pointed words for each individual trustee who hasn't spoken out against Engler. Local 4 called all of them Tuesday for comment, and the only one who called back or answered was Geroge Perles.

Perles declined to say if he was supporting Engler one way or the other and quickly ended the call.

You can read the full letter to Engler below:

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