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Dept. of Education announces investigation into MSU's handling of Nassar complaints

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki
/
Michigan Radio
The U.S. Department of Education's civil rights team will begin its investigation shortly, according to a statement released Monday.

Another investigation into Michigan State University has been opened. 

The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that a new Title IX investigation will look at how the university handled sexual assault complaints against former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a statement that the department's Office for Civil Rights team will join the Federal Student Aid team already on campus. The FSA is examining whether MSU's reporting of crimes committed on campus violated the Clery Act.

Read more: TIMELINE: The Larry Nassar scandal at MSU

"I appreciated seeing acting President Engler's directive to the entire University to cooperate fully with our—and with all—inquiries into the University's actions," added DeVos. "We expect MSU's full and complete disclosure about its actions to protect students from sexual assault."

The Michigan Attorney General's office and the NCAA have also opened investigations into Michigan State.

Complaints against Nassar began soon after he was hired by the university in 1997, but a 2014 Title IX investigation by the school cleared the sports doctor of wrongdoing.

Nassar is currently serving 60 years in federal prison for child pornography. He has also been sentenced to up to 140 years in two separate Michigan county courts for criminal sexual abuse. Civil cases against Nassar, Michigan State University, and USA Gymnastics are ongoing.

Update, Monday, February 26 at 4:00 p.m:

Michigan Radio received the following statement from MSU spokesperson Heather Swain in regards to the DOE investigation:

"The Title IX investigation announced today by the U.S. Department of Education is different from the Clery Review. We were notified last week of the investigation by the Office of Civil Rights into the university’s handling of reports of sexual violence against former employee Larry Nassar. As we have been, MSU is cooperating fully with this and all investigations. Our focus is on taking the actions that demonstrate the voices of the survivors have been heard and on creating a culture that provides a safe environment for all members of our community."

Emma is a producer for the digital content team at Michigan Radio. Her duties span all things web-related, from news reporting and photography to digital fundraising and graphic design. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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