MSU Police: Larry Nassar Investigation Q & A

Q. When did the MSU Police Department receive its first sexual assault report against Larry Nassar?

A. On May 15, 2014, the MSU Police Department received its first sexual assault report against Nassar. The report was sent to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office, which declined to file charges.

 

Q. When did the MSU Police Department receive additional reports against Nassar?

A. MSU Police Department started receiving additional reports around Sept. 13, 2016. The initial IndyStar article about two former gymnasts’ allegations against Nassar received national attention that sparked an increase of sexual assault reports against Nassar.

 

Q. How many sexual assault reports are there against Nassar?

A. There have been more than 80 sexual assault allegations against Nassar with information coming in daily.

 

Q. Why did the MSU Police Department seek out the assistance from the Michigan Department of Attorney General to review the cases?

A. Due to the complexity of the case and the multiple jurisdictions, the Michigan Attorney General was asked to prosecute the cases.

 

Q. Why did the MSU Police Department request the assistance of the U.S. Attorney?

A. For the investigation into the Child Sexually Abusive Material, the federal penalties are significantly higher than the state penalties. Additionally, many reports in the Nassar investigation are being jointly investigated with the FBI.

 

Q. What is the difference between a criminal investigation and a university investigation?

A. The MSU Police Department is the lead agency investigating allegations of state criminal matters involving Nassar. All of the investigative findings are being handed over to the state Attorney General’s Office for review. The Attorney General provides oversight for the ongoing law enforcement investigation, including decisions about its scope and reach. The university administration does not have any involvement with or input into the law enforcement investigation, which is completely separate from any administrative investigation conducted by the university, including its Title IX investigation via the Office of Institutional Equity. If noncriminal allegations are reported to the police, they are referred to the appropriate administrative office (such as the Office of Institutional Equity) for investigation.

 

Q. What resources does the MSU Police Department have to assist the investigation?

A. The MSU Police Department consists of 85 officers who have all received specialized training in victim centered/trauma focused investigations, including the neurobiology of trauma. The MSU Police Department has a Special Victims Unit with full-time detectives assigned to cases such as the Nassar investigation. The Special Victims Unit utilizes a victim centered approach, which focuses on the needs and concerns of the victim. Ten trained Special Victims Unit investigators have been assigned to the Nassar case. In addition, the MSU Police Department has 9 crime scene investigators. Of the 9 investigators, 4 have been assigned to the Nassar case.

The MSU Police Department also has a Digital Forensics and Cyber Crime Unit that handles digital evidence. The Digital Forensics and Cyber Crime Unit is frequently requested by other agencies for assistance due to the resources available at MSU Police Department.

In addition to the resources housed at the MSU Police Department, the department also maintains partnerships with local organizations that are specific to sexual abuse and child abuse. Through these partnerships, we are able to provide additional resources to victims.

The MSU Police Department has utilized as many as 17 investigators, digital forensics detectives and a crime analyst for the Nassar case.

 

Q. What are the current charges against Nassar?

A. Nassar has been charged with 25 state felonies for criminal sexual conduct with a minor and three federal felonies associated with possession of Child Sexual Abusive Material and destruction of evidence.

 

Q. If someone has been victimized by Nassar, what should they do?

A. Anyone who may be a victim or who has information regarding the Nassar case is asked to contact the Michigan State University Police Department’s toll-free tip line at: 844-99-MSUPD (844-99-67873).