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Sunday, August 19, 2018

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Victims still getting charged for appointments with Olympic doctor convicted of sexual assault


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Larry Nassar, a former sports doctor for MSU, was accused of sexual assault by several of his patients. He is facing charges for sexual abuse and child pornography and 60 years in prison. Nassar was removed from his position, and three board members for the governing body of USA gymnastics resigned.

Despite several credible allegations, a former patient is still expected to pay the bills for Nassar’s services. This is absolutely absurd. Emma Ann Miller, one of the hundreds of victims of Nassar’s abuse, came out about the ridiculous charges her mother is paying from her last visit with the doctor.

MSU representative, Jason Cody, said that these charges would be refunded, but nothing has been done so far to reverse these bills. The fact that they were issues in the first place after the news broke about Nassar’s assault is evidence of the outdated and apathetic bureaucracy of the system.

MSU did not keep itself updated with these events nor did they extend the effort to refund these appointments when the allegations came out. Since the event, President Simon, the president of MSU, stepped down. 

Miller stated in her testimony that she’d be the “last child you will ever assault.” This statement in itself is absolutely heart wrenching. The far reaching extent of this abuse cannot be understated, but sadly this abuse of power is nothing new.

The reality of the situation is this: Larry Nassar worked for 29 years as a sports doctor. He worked at Michigan State University for years and served with the Olympics for four consecutive games. It was after almost 30 years and hundreds of victims that this dark secret was uncovered.

Thirty years for hundreds of victims to build up the courage to confront this monster and come to the conclusion that they were not alone in bearing these deep psychological and traumatic scars. Thirty years for hundreds of victims to come forward with heartbreaking story after story told in tear stained and courageous voices.

It has been a week since this ordeal of a trial took place in Michigan, since hundreds of these survivors had to relive the most intense and traumatizing moments of their childhoods, and yet one of them is still pinned under the financial burden of this man’s “treatments.”

It is terrible enough that this situation went on for years, but for our system to still be so sluggish to correct these charges is ridiculous. Sexual allegations and misconduct has become so alarmingly common in our political system and media that this tale is not an unusual occurrence, and that in itself is horrifying.

A world where children are not safe from their doctors, individuals that supposedly pledged their lives to healing and helping others, is a sick and distorted reality to live in. The least that could be done for these survivors is a more public apology than a series of resignations and a refund for all expenses Nassar cost them.

It would not come anywhere close to even mitigating the emotional toll placed on these women. A refund cannot return their stolen childhoods to them, but it would prove to the world that victims should not pay the expense of their abusers.

Opinion editor Anusheh Siddique is a finance freshman and can be reached at [email protected]

Correction: The headline of this article has been changed to clarify the culpability on the part of MSU and to represent the updated information of Nassar’s conviction. There was a change of the trial being a month ago to a week ago because it was a fact error.

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