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Father says Nassar assaulted his teenage daughter while under criminal investigation

Michigan Radio

This week we learned that even as Michigan State University Police conducted a criminal sexual conduct investigation of former doctor Larry Nassar, the university allowed him to continue seeing patients.

That investigation went on for more than a year, and

it appears Nassar assaulted at least 12 victims during that time.

A father named Tony joined Stateside today, and said his daughter was one of those assaulted by Nassar during this time period. She is now a 16-year-old who lives in Mid-Michigan. She once loved gymnastics, but no longer.

Listen to the full conversation above, or read highlights below. Please note: To protect the family’s privacy, we are only using Tony’s first name.

On when his daughter saw Nassar

“She was having back problems in 2013, and she was seen at Twistars [Gymnastics Club], and then she later had seen him at MSU in 2014,” he said.

On what Nassar was like in the exam room

Tony was with his daughter in the exam room “every time.”

He said Nassar was “very, very friendly and outspoken.”

“I mean there was things he did that, you know, didn’t sit right,” Tony said. “But, you know, I’m like who am I to judge? This is the best doctor in the world. I mean, he’s treated all of the top-notch athletes.”

On what it felt like to learn what Nassar had done

“I was crushed,” he said. “I was crushed and blamed myself, because I took her there and I sat right there while it happened.”

On how his daughter is doing now

“She’s not the same person,” he said. “Not at all. She’s depressed all the time, sad.”

“She doesn’t have the passion for the sport that she did before. You know, she’s not happy and she can’t escape it. Because she left Twistars but she’s a high school gymnast and they practice at Twistars, so everyday she goes to practice, she has to relive everything that’s happened to her. And that’s just heartbreaking.

On MSU’s response to the situation

“[MSU’s offer to pay for counseling] is a nice gesture, but the fact of the matter is it never had to happen to her,” he said. “She was seen at MSU at 2014 and they never once told me that he was under investigation or had been accused of this sort of thing. What parent in their right mind would take their kid to see a doctor that’s been accused of sexually assaulting young girls?”

“I don’t feel that [the university’s response] is genuine at all,” he said. “I mean, if you’re sorry, then why do you keep trying to hide it? Why won’t you own up to your mistakes?”

“You know, nothing is being done about it. Yeah, you set money aside for counseling, but all this came out and we’ve been aware of what was being done to my daughter for over a year now. Now you just now offer counseling?”

On what it would take for him to feel as though justice had been served

“I feel that everybody who enabled him should be punished,” he said. “And they’re just going about their day, living their normal life, working the same job they had when they enabled him to do what he was doing.”

“If me and you were together, and I committed a crime, you’re going to be charged as an accessory, and they all need to be punished for what they allowed him to do, because they knew what he was doing."

“There’s no justice being served. Yes, he’s behind bars now, but what about everybody who let him do that?”

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Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.