137 Larry Nassar survivors call for Michigan State to fire John Engler
A total of 137 of the survivors of the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal have called for Michigan State University to fire interim president John Engler, who took over for former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon who resigned in the wake of the Nassar scandal in late January after she served as the president of the university for more than 13 years.
Engler has recently come under fire from many people after it was revealed last week that he sent a disparaging e-mail to Carol M. Viventi, the vice president and special counsel to the president, in mid-April regarding Rachael Denhollander.
Denhollander was the first person to publicly accuse 54-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State physician Larry Nassar of sexual assault when she took her story to The Indianapolis Star shortly before they published it in September of 2016.
Nassar was finally arrested three months later after sexually assaulting more than 300 people, many of whom female gymnasts, under the guise of medical treatment for more than two decades.
This past December, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on three child pornography charges. He is currently serving this prison sentence at United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Tucson, Arizona.
In January and February, Nassar was given two separate state prison sentences on seven sexual assault charges and three sexual assault charges, respectively. The sentence that he was issued in January is for between 40 and 175 years, and the sentence that he was issued in February is for between an additional 40 and 125 years.
Engler's e-mail to Viventi pertaining to Denhollander stated that he believed Denhollander was receiving a "kickback" from her attorney, John Manly, who is the attorney for several others who have accused Nassar of sexual assault.
Here is what that e-mail said, according to Deadspin.
“It is deeply appreciated. At least we know what really happened. The survivors now are being manipulated by trial lawyers who in the end will each get millions of dollars more than any of (sic) individual survivors with the exception of Denhollander who is likely to get (sic) kickback from Manley (sic) for her role in the trial lawyer manipulation.
“It is too bad we can’t have a debate about who is really trying to help those who were harmed by Nassar. At least, all of the positive changes are beginning to get some modest attention. It will be years before the use and abuse by trial lawyers point is understood. Have a good Sunday. See you Tuesday morning. John.”
After it was revealed that the former Michigan governor sent this e-mail, there was a lot of criticism directed at him, and rightfully so. Among those who criticized him were Michigan State trustees Brian Mosallam and Dianne Byrum as well as Denhollander herself.
Denhollander also criticized Michigan State trustee Dan Kelly for standing by Engler after Engler's e-mail to Viventi was revealed. Now, a total of 137 of the people who have accused Nassar of sexual assault have signed a letter urging Michigan State to fire Engler.
Among those 137 survivors are Denhollander and two-time Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman. Both women have been extremely outspoken in their criticism of Nassar's protectors, defenders and enablers throughout the fallout of this scandal. Former Olympic gymnasts Jamie Dantzscher and Jeanette Antolin also signed this letter.
Denhollander revealed the full text of this letter on Twitter.
The board of trustees' next meeting is scheduled for Friday.