Michigan State VP knocks Nassar victim, then apologizes
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan State University official apologized Wednesday for adding to the “pain” of Larry Nassar’s sexual assault victims after emails showed her sharply criticizing a young woman who accused the school’s president of trying to suddenly arrange a lawsuit settlement.
Kaylee Lorincz made the claim last week during a public meeting of Michigan State’s governing board. She said interim President John Engler offered $250,000 a few weeks ago without her lawyer present.
Over the weekend, Carol Viventi, an MSU vice president and lawyer, sent an email to university trustees calling Lorincz’s account “false news.”
“Kaylee’s statements to the board contained many false and inaccurate statements, which we did not publicly contradict out of an abundance of concern for the survivors who are quick to claim ‘revictimization’ or ‘shaming’ of survivors whenever they are falsely accusing members of the MSU community,” Viventi said.
She quoted another MSU lawyer as saying Lorincz and her mother wanted to meet Engler to “set up MSU.”
Emails between Viventi and trustees were obtained by the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News. Viventi subsequently apologized.
“What the survivors of Larry Nassar have been through should not be experienced by anyone, and I’m sorry my words added to their pain,” Viventi said.
Nassar was a campus sports doctor who’s spending decades in prison for sexual assault and child pornography crimes. More than 140 young woman and girls are suing Michigan State for failing to recognize his assaults and stopping him years ago. The school has denied wrongdoing. A mediator has been assigned to try to reach a settlement.
Lorincz said she was “saddened but not surprised” by Viventi’s email.
“There is nothing worse that someone can do to a sexual assault survivor than to disbelieve and attempt to silence them,” she said.
Engler, a former Michigan governor, was hired to lead MSU on a temporary basis after the resignation of Lou Anna Simon in January. Engler hired Viventi as his special counsel.