MSU President Offered Secret Settlement in Nassar Sex-Abuse Suit, Woman Says


MSU President Offered Secret Settlement in Nassar Sex-Abuse Suit, Woman Says

President Engler and his lawyer had just tried to coerce me into settling a lawsuit without my attorney present.

Michigan State University interim president John Engler offered a woman $250,000 to settle her sexual-abuse lawsuit against the university and former MSU doctor Larry Nassar, without her lawyer present, the woman told the school's board of trustees Friday.

According to her account, the payoff attempt occurred on March 28, when the teenager and her mother, Lisa Lorincz, went to MSU offices to sign up to speak at this month's Board of Trustees meeting.

Lorincz explained to Engler that she did not want money but wanted to help the school create change.

The atmosphere inside the board meeting quickly drew tension as Engler attempted to steer focus toward celebrating milestones of the university but was usurped by boos and jeers from a crowd clad in teal shirts with the phrase, "I stand with the sister survivors #MeTooMSU".

"My interpretation of the discussion was not that he was saying, 'I'm offering you $250,000, '" Emily Gerkin said. Carol Viventi said "Well you're in civil litigation, aren't you?"

Engler's short tenure has not been one for the textbooks since he took the post in January after the previous president, Lou Anna Simon, resigned hours after Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for crimes involving Michigan State athletes.

Amanda Thomashow, an MSU graduate who filed a Title IX complaint against Nassar in 2014, said she's pleased the university is adding new roles and trying to reach more survivors of sexual assault, but there's much more work to be done.

Room and board could be going up once against at Michigan State University.

"It's not about money", Lorincz said.

Lorincz told the board of trustees that she informed Engler her lawsuit wasn't about the money.

"He also said that he had met with Rachel Denhollender, and that she gave him a number".

Kaylee claims that she later spoke with her friend about the claims made in that meeting and 'it turns out that Rachael has never met with Mr. Engler and more specifically, never gave him a dollar amount'.

"There's new leadership in nearly all of these places, so I think the ability of Michigan State to respond is dramatically different and better than it was a year ago", he said. I said again, it's not about money. "No one has given him a number". In fact, he's been asked by political leaders to meet with me, and has refused.

To make matters worse, Engler and Viventi's version of events do not track with Denhollander's own. Manly says he wrote to complain to MSU's attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald. "You're not even supposed to say hello if you pass each other in the restroom".

Her mother then protested that the problem at MSU was bigger than just "one bad doctor", Lorincz says, and brought up the arrest of former College of Osteopathic Medicine Dean William Strampel. Auto-Owners Insurance spokesman Trevor Mahoney told The Associated Press at the time that the company did not deem it appropriate to showcase advertising "during discussions of serious topics that have impacted the lives of many". "It was only just a slap on the butt".

"I don't remember him saying that", she said.

Engler didn't immediately respond to her comments.

Said trustee Brian Mosallam: "If Kaylee Lorincz's story is correct, I am beyond disturbed".

Engler read a statement earlier in Friday's meeting to express regret for how the school handled a separate lawsuit filed earlier this week that alleges three Michigan State basketball players raped a female student.