Newly-released report shows Meridian Twp police took Nassar's word in investigation of 2004 assault
More than 13 years ago, a concerned mom brought her daughter into the Meridian Township Police Department to file a police report against Dr. Larry Nassar.
Detectives ended up closing the case without forwarding it to prosecutors. Now, police are releasing their case report to the public. The department plans to hold a press conference Thursday about what went wrong.
The report, released Wednesday, gives details about Brianne Randall's complaint against Nassar in 2004.* The 17-year-old came to see Nassar that summer at the Michigan Athletic Club for pain caused by scoliosis. She was in pain because of scoliosis. Nassar evaluated her, referred her to physical therapy, and gave her a hug.
She started physical therapy two times a week at a separate location, the police report details, and then reported back to Nassar for a follow-up exam in September of that year.
Randall’s mom did not accompany her to that appointment.
Randall told police Nassar said her back felt tight. He had her get into a gown and a pair of shorts that had Velcro up the sides, and he started giving her a massage.
“This might give you a wedgie,” Randall recalls Nassar telling her after ripping open the Velcro shorts and massaging her butt. “I bet people at physical therapy don’t do this,” Nassar said, according to Randall's interview with police.
The police report details what happened next:
“While massaging her back, he began pressing on the outer area all along her vagina. His hand was directly on her bare vagina. He told her this would relieve the tension in her back and buttocks. He was pressing hard on her vagina, and it hurt Randall. He asked her if she was ‘okay with this’ and if it hurt. She said it did not hurt, even though it did. She says that he could tell that it did hurt. He was trying to put his finger in her vagina.”
Randall told police she had a tampon in, and felt that Nassar could tell that she did.
“She felt that he was not able to put his finger in her because of the tampon. She said that he did not penetrate her vagina, but he was definitely trying. He continued to massage her back and her crotch, including the outer are of her vagina, for about 20 minutes. He then moved his hands. She was still lying on her stomach. While rubbing her neck, he reached under her, under her gown, and placed his hands on her bare breasts. He was ‘rubbing around’ and ‘squeezing’ her breasts. He told her that this would also relieve the tension in her back and buttocks. He continued this for about 10-15 minutes.”
After Nassar was finished, he asked if she needed any help reattaching the shorts. He said he’d turn around while she put her pants back on. Randall told police Nassar had her put her shirt on while he was in the room as well and asked for a hug before she left.
Randall said Nassar tried to schedule weekly appointments with her, but the front desk person objected, saying that she made the appointments, not Nassar.
Randall told police she was ‘scared’ and ‘uncomfortable’ when Nassar touched her. She thought it was ‘weird’ and it ‘freaked her out’ enough that she called and told her mom about it.
Her mom took her to Meridian Township Police to report the incident the next day. Police had Randall go to the hospital to get a rape kit done. Randall’s mom also gave police a paper bag with a “white pair of women’s panties” and a black bra as potential evidence.
Two weeks after Randall and her mom went to police, Nassar came in to talk to detectives.
Nassar admitted to touching and applying pressure to the teen’s perineum. But he explained to detectives that this practice was part of a medical procedure called Sacrotuberous Ligament Release.
Police wrote in their report that the technique was used to relieve low back and upper leg pain, which Nassar said Randall was experiencing. He said it was a legitimate technique that had been written about in medical journals and demonstrated in training tapes. Nassar gave the police a PowerPoint presentation he created about the technique.
The detective in the case, Andrew McCready, then called Randall’s mom and told her Nassar’s explanation of the medical procedure.
McCready’s case notes say, “The doctor was using a medically-accepted technique for the alleviation of pain. No crime was committed.”
Randall’s mom, whose name is redacted in the report, “expressed concern, not necessarily in the medical procedure, but in the way that the doctor explained the procedure to her daughter. She was also troubled by the fact that Dr. Nassar did not wear latex gloves while performing said procedure.”
McCready explained that he “would not be able to affect whether or not the doctor wore gloves or if he had another person present during the procedure.” McCready assured the mother that he would pass her concerns along to Nassar.
He concluded by telling Randall’s mom that the police would be “closing the case with no prosecution being sought, due to the facts presented to me by Dr. Nassar.”
The report was not released to the public until today because the criminal cases against Nassar were still underway.
Meridian Township Police Chief David Hall says McCready, the main investigator, is still employed at the department. He’s scheduled a press conference tomorrow afternoon to talk about what went wrong and next steps for the department.
*CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated the report from the Meridian Township Police was released on Tuesday, Jan. 30, and that the department plans to hold a press conference on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The story has been corrected above.