EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State University has agreed to pay $500 million to the victims of former doctor Larry Nassar.
The agreement was confirmed by the university on Wednesday morning after being agreed upon by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees during a conference call Tuesday night.
According to the university, $425 million will be paid up front, while the remaining $75 million will be held for potential future viable claims. There will be no confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure agreements attached to the settlement.
"Michigan State is pleased that we have been able to agree in principle on a settlement that is fair to the survivors of Nassar's crimes,” said Robert Young, special counsel to MSU. “We appreciate the hard work both sides put into the mediation, and the efforts of the mediator, which achieved a result that is responsible and equitable.”
Brian Breslin, Chair, MSU Board of Trustees released this statement:
We are truly sorry to all the survivors and their families for what they have been through, and we admire the courage it has taken to tell their stories. We recognize the need for change on our campus and in our community around sexual assault awareness and prevention. A successful resolution to the litigation is a positive step in moving us all forward. We will continue working as a Board to address the necessary changes and improvements that are needed at our university.
We appreciate the hard work of the mediator and the parties involved in coming to this fair resolution.
Nassar, who worked as a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, was sentenced 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing young athletes.
Back in January, Nassar attended a seven-day sentencing hearing where more than 150 victims delivered victim impact statements.
In lawsuits filed by many victims, they claim Michigan State University failed to act after they reported concerns about Nassar's treatment. Student athletes and parents claim they alerted MSU officials, but Nassar continued to work for the university.
Victims have also expressed their reluctance to report Nassar because of his elevated status as a doctor in the gymnastics world. Young women who went public with their stories said they viewed Nassar as a god when they were girls. He was renowned as the best in the business, and victims said they didn't feel like they should question him.
Last week, Interim Michigan State President John Engler said the lawsuit against the university now includes 312 victims, and it's going to cost MSU a lot of money.
FULL CASE BACKGROUND COVERAGE: Nassar Abuse Trial
In November 2017, Nassar pleaded pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting young athletes including some girls under the age of 13. The 54-year-old originally was charged with more than 20 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and was scheduled to go to trial on Dec. 4. Instead he agreed to a plea deal that could have gotten him a minimum prison sentence of 25 years. He admitted he sexually assaulted the girls for his own pleasure without any medical grounds.
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