Larissa Boyce, who is believed to be one of the first victims to report Nassar’s behavior, said she talked to Kathie Klages in 1997. The gymnastics coach allegedly told Boyce that she must have misunderstood the medical procedure. Now 37, Boyce said Nassar abused her from 1997 to 2001, beginning when she was 16.
“They are denying any responsibility, saying they didn’t know a predator was among them,” Boyce told HuffPost earlier this month. “That is like a slap in the face to the … girls who over the past 20 years told multiple MSU employees and [they] did nothing about it. How is that not showing their complete negligence?”
Christie Achenbach said she reported Nassar’s behavior to assistant running coach Kelli Bert in 1999, but nothing ever came of it. Bert told the Detroit News that she didn’t recall the interaction.
“If he had done something sexual, I believe I would have reported that immediately,” Bert said.
Tiffany Thomas Lopez said she told Lianna Hadden, then an MSU softball trainer, in 2000 that Nassar had sexually abused her during a medical exam. Hadden reportedly told another trainer, Destiny Teachnor-Hauk, who assured Thomas Lopez that the exam was “actual medical treatment.”
During this week’s sentencing hearing, Jennifer Rood Bedford, a former MSU volleyball player, said she also reported Nassar’s behavior to Hadden, who allegedly discouraged her from filing a complaint.
“Everyone trusted him so I told myself I needed to trust him, too,” Rood Bedford said in her victim impact statement. Now she said, “I constantly ask myself: Did I have the power to stop him?”
Since Nassar’s abuse went public in 2016, many victims have alleged that MSU and USA Gymnastics employees failed to comply with mandatory reporting regulations when they were told about his behavior.
Olympic gymnast and Nassar abuse survivor Aly Raisman called out USA Gymnastics earlier this month in a series of tweets. “You are 100% responsible. It was mandatory to get ‘treatment’ by Nassar,” she wrote, adding, “The system has to change so that athletes are safe. Enablers need to be held accountable.”