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University president called to testify regarding scandal

The disgraced doctor may be already behind bars, but the case that shocked the country is far from over. Michigan State interim president John Engler now finds himself in the cross-hairs — and he’s been asked to testify before Congress. This unfortunate situation is the most recent example of a university struggling to handle a sexual abuse problem.

 

Trauma in the training room

Dr. Larry Nassar was on the Michigan State medical school faculty while also serving as team doctor for the USA gymnastics team. Nassar used that role to sexually abuse female athletes who were instructed to visit him for treatment. He pled guilty to molesting seven girls at his Michigan State office and was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison.

From state house to state school

The former governor of Michigan, Engler was called in to handle the crisis. Engler took over as head of the school after the previous Michigan State president resigned in the wake of the scandal. However, his tenure has not been without his own missteps.

While he helped reach a $500 million settlement with the hundreds of victims, he also came under fire for his comments on the case. Engler attacked the character of the plaintiffs, even accusing one of receiving “kickbacks” from her lawyer. A few members of the school’s board have called for Engler to resign, and now the U.S. Senate has asked him to testify in a subcommittee hearing.

Victims spoke out against the powerful

In cases of widespread sexual abuse, staring down the system on your own can be intimidating. While the strength of this case stemmed from the collective shout of many brave victims, the voice of an abuse victim always deserves to be heard.

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