LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Lawyers for dozens of women who say they were sexually assaulted by a Michigan sports doctor are trying to overturn a judge’s gag order.
They asked a federal judge to intervene Tuesday and strike an order that bars attorneys and Larry Nassar’s alleged victims from talking publicly. Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina is overseeing a criminal case against Nassar — who was volunteer doctor for USA Gymnastics and had a clinic at Michigan State University — says his rights could be violated if the public is repeatedly served with negative comments about him.
The order covers anyone who might be called as a witness in the criminal case — the alleged assault of a girl at his Lansing-area home between 1998 and 2005, from the age of 6 until the girl was 12.
Lawyer Stephen Drew says it’s an illegal restriction on free speech. If Nassar feels he can’t get a fair trial in the Lansing area, Drew says he can try to move it elsewhere.
More than 20 females are suing Nassar claiming they were assaulted under the guise of treatment.
Many of the women have the same allegations: During the course of Nassar’s treatments, the doctor allegedly inserted “his bare, ungloved and unlubricated hand” into the victim’s vagina, according to the complaint. When one woman reported Nassar’s disturbing “treatments” to the MSU training staff, she was allegedly told that Nassar was a world-renowned doctor and that his “inter‐vaginal adjustments” were legitimate medical treatments.
Michigan State University fired Nassar in September 2016, and USA Gymnastics cut ties in 2015. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs also announced this week that it served an order to immediately suspend Nassar’s license to practice as an osteopathic physician.
Nassar, who is also charged in federal court with possessing child pornography, remains jailed without bond.
© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.