DETROIT (WWJ) – Within hours of the sentencing of Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar in a Michigan courtroom for sexual assault and a week of victim-impact statements from over 150 young girls and woman — calls from across the state for the removal of university president Lou Anna K. Simon.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar on Wednesday to 45 to 175 years in prison — for molesting the victims at his Lansing-area home and his MSU office under the guise of treatment for sports injuries.
Senator Debbie Stabenow calling for Simon to resign in a message on Twitter posted shortly after the Nassar sentencing.
U.S. Senator Gary Peters released a statement calling on Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon to resign in the wake of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse scandal:
“We will never be able to fully account for the damage that Larry Nasser has done to his victims. In the past week, the survivors have fully awoken us to the evil he perpetrated, and now the judicial system has delivered the justice it can provide. However, it has become clear that the leadership at Michigan State University has failed to adequately prevent, address or respond to the victimization of young women and girls on its campus, and the crisis at MSU continues despite today’s verdict. Michigan State University has a long way to go in rebuilding trust with its students, athletes, faculty, alumni and the entire state of Michigan. To do so, it must have new leadership. As an MSU alumnus, I add my voice to those calling for President Simon’s resignation, and I will work in the U.S. Senate to address the failures that led us to this day.”
Earlier in the day, Michigan House are weighed in on the matter. A resolution passed Wednesday calling for Simon’s resignation due to the widespread belief that MSU mishandled the Larry Nassar case.
“The weighing in is heavy; this is a heavy vote: 96 to 11,” Skubick said, noting that this is simply a resolution, and it does not have the force of law. Basically it’s a statement of opinion, 96 to 11, that Dr. Simon should step down.
The resolution, sponsored by Adam Zemke (D-Ann Arbor) reads in part:
“We have lost confidence in the ability of President Simon to lead a transparent investigation, to implement changes to ensure it never happens again, to protect students and to lead Michigan State University forward.”
Also Wednesday, Michigan Speaker of the House Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) called for the trustees themselves to resign, while MSU Trustee Dianne Byrum became the second trustee to call for Simon’s ouster.
Nassar, who worked for MSU as well as USA Gymnastics, will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars after he was sentenced to 40 to 175 for sexually assaulting young female patients.
“I just signed your death warrant,” Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said, as she handed down the sentence, calling Nassar “possibly the most prolific serial child sex abuser in history.”
More than 150 former patients spoke prior to sentencing, details how they say Nassar molested them under the guise of treatment for gymnastics-related injuries. Simon was widely criticized for her actions during the trial, when she failed to appear and then did appear, giving what many considered a wooden statement. Questions are still swirling about what she knew regarding the complaints against Nassar.
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.