The interim president of Michigan State University said he believes that some of the Survivors of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar are "enjoying" their moment in the "center of attention."
In comments to The Detroit News on Friday, highlighted on Tuesday by Deadspin, interim President of MSU John Engler said some of Nassar's victims are enjoying "awards and recognitions" after talking about their assaults.
"There are many people who are moved by this, survivors who have not been in the center of attention," said Engler. "Somehow, they have been able to deal with this better than those who have been in the limelight and who still enjoy that moment sometimes, you know, the awards and recognitions, and it's almost over."
MSU did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its comments.
Nassar, who was the physician of the USA Gymnastics team and of several MSU sports teams, was found guilty of sexually abusing more than 260 girls and women over the course of two decades. He received three concurrent sentences of 60 years, 40 to 125 years and 40 to 175 years in prison for child sexual abuse and child pornography.
Survivors and advocates against sexual abuse have criticized MSU, as well as USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee. UU., For not having avoided the abuse and, in some cases, allowing it to continue.
In November, former MSU president Lou Anna Simon became the fourth official to face criminal charges related to covering up the sexual abuse scandal.
The university has also lost the trust of the survivors in other ways. The victims said they felt violated again when it was announced in March 2018 that MSU paid a public relations company $ 517,343 to monitor and track their activity on social networks.
In June, Engler was attacked by a leaked email in which he claimed that Rachael Denhollander received a "bribe" for being the first woman to speak publicly against Nassar.
The university did not act on a letter from 120 self-proclaimed "surviving sisters" who requested the dismissal of Engler as a result of the email.
In December, Engler closed a $ 10 million healing fund originally reserved for counseling and other services for victims of Nassar. The school redirected that money to an existing $ 500 million settlement divided among the 332 women who sued the school for Nassar's abuse. The measure would leave dozens of other prosecutors who were not part of the lawsuit and could not receive financial support for counseling and other mental health services.
The board of directors of MSU voted last week to establish another fund for the victims of Nassar, but Engler said it may not be available to all of them.