Peters Statement on MSU Independent Investigation into Nassar Abuse Scandal

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) released the following statement on the Michigan State University (MSU) Board of Trustees unanimously approving an independent investigation into the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal:


“Nearly 18 months ago, I called for an independent investigation so that we could ensure that what happened at MSU could never happen again. We must get to the root cause of how such a toxic climate emerged to enable Larry Nassar to get away with all the abuse he inflicted on survivors.


“Today’s announcement is an important step in the healing process at MSU. It is also another reminder that we must hold university leadership accountable. That’s why I reiterate my call to pass bipartisan legislation I’ve introduced to require university presidents to review reports of sexual abuse perpetrated by university employees. ‘I didn’t know’ simply can never be an excuse again.”


In January 2018, Peters called on MSU to commission an independent, outside investigation into the handling of the Larry Nassar abuse scandal. Earlier this year, Peters led reintroduction of the bipartisan ALERT Act with Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). The ALERT Act would require federally funded colleges and universities to submit an annual certification to the Secretary of Education affirming that the school’s President, or equivalent officer, and at least one other member of the Board of Trustees have reviewed all sexual abuse investigations involving an employee reported to the Title IX coordinator that year. The annual certification would also require confirmation that neither the President, or equivalent officer, or board member had interfered with or inappropriately influenced an ongoing investigation.


Companion legislation was introduced in House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Fred Upton (MI-06) and Paul Mitchell (MI-10).