Michigan State University faces mounting accusations of hiding sexual assault
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Michigan State University has consistently failed to adequately investigate claims of sexual assault, according to an investigation by ESPN following the conviction of former athletic physician Larry Nassar.

ESPN found multiple claims against football and basketball players or coaches that the school has failed to publicize and in some cases has denied, concluding that the university engaged in an extensive campaign to suppress information from the public and federal investigators. 

ESPN previously reported that the school failed in 2014 to inform federal investigators already probing how the school handled sexual assault claims that multiple allegations had been made against Nassar. 


"Whatever protocol or policy was in place, whatever frontline staff might normally be involved in response or investigation, it all got kind of swept away and it was handled more by administration [and] athletic department officials," said a former university sexual assault counselor, Lauren Allswede, who left Michigan State in 2015 over frustration that the school didn't handle such cases properly.

"It was all happening behind closed doors," she added to ESPN. "None of it was transparent or included people who would normally be involved in certain decisions."

ESPN found three instances where the university fought to shield names of accused students from campus police reports, reportedly unsuccessfully. The school also redacted information from incident reports to the point that the reports became unreadable, according to the website.

In one case, an independent investigator hired by Michigan State to investigate a sexual assault complaint told ESPN that he was ordered not to generate a written report upon the completion of his investigation.

In the case of Nassar, the former university and USA Gymnastics physician who was sentenced this week to up to 175 years in prison for abusing young girls under the guise of medical treatment, the school did not begin an investigation until 17 years after it received the first complaint against him.

The school's president, Lou Anna Simon, resigned Wednesday amid pressure from state lawmakers, who say she mishandled the scandal. In her resignation letter, Simon blamed the "politicized" tragedy for her ouster.

"As tragedies are politicized, blame is inevitable," Simon wrote. "As president, it is only natural that I am the focus of this anger."