News

MSU paid a half million dollars to ‘spy’ victims by Larry Nassar, report says

close


Video

Michigan State administrator arrested in the middle of Nassar probe

The authorities launched an investigation into MSU, which leads to the arrest of 70-year-old William Strampel, the former dean of the osteopathic medicine at Michigan State University.

In the midst of a tsunami of negative press following Michigan State University’s Larry Nassar sex scandal, documents show the public university “spied” to the victims of the gymnastics doctor.

A New York-based pr firm, Weber Shandwick, billed MSU more than $500,000 to track the social media activity around the Nassar case, including the accounts of the victims and their families, the Lansing State Journal reported after obtaining the public records.

Rachael Denhollander, the first woman in the public accusing Nassar of sexual abuse and the last of more than 150 women to confront him in court during his sentencing hearing for criminal sexual conduct, told Fox News she is “disgusted” by how MSU spent his time and resources to the middle of the largest sexual abuse scandal in the campus of the history.

“As we were literally in the court against our abuser, MSU was paying a firm to monitor us,” Denhollander said. “The only other person that monitors my social media profiles in an attempt to get me to discredit, was my abuser, Larry Nassar.”

Rachael Denhollander, center, listens to her attorney John Manly speak during a press conference after Michigan sports doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges Grand Rapids, Mich., on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. Denhollander is one of the many ex-patients of Nassar, who accused him of abuse.

(Mike Clark/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

She added: “When MSU makes use of the same tactic, and gives the same things as a pedophile, it is clear where their priorities lie.”

Denhollander said it is telling that Michigan State missed the porn on the computer of Nassar’s boss, former Dean William Strampel, and the reports of Strampel’s own sexual harassment law in his personnel file, while making it a priority to follow her husband’s tweets.

“They say they want to support the survivors and to work for justice, but at the same time as they say, they have attacked our character and motivation, accused us of ambulance chasers looking for a payday, lied about our legislative package, and lied about the reason why mediation was stalled, and paid exorbitant amounts of money to monitor our activities on social media,” she said. “Actions speak louder than words, and MSU-actions leave no doubt about what they really find important, and it is not stopping sexual violence.”

The company brought more than 1,440 hours of work, done by 18 employees, including the hourly rates ranged from $200 to $600 per hour, the Lansing State Journal reported. When Fox News reached the company for comment, a spokeswoman referred to the university for questions.

Michigan State not immediately respond to a request for comment.

California attorney John Manly said it was “shocking” that Michigan State used $500,000 in taxpayer money to “spy” on the 150 alleged Nassar victims that he represents, calling it “further evidence of MSU’s ongoing campaign to punish and revictimize these brave young women and girls.”

Manly says more action must be taken at the Lansing-based public university.

“We were already aware that MSU has hired private investigators to dig up dirt on Nassar’s victims, and this is yet another indication that John Engler and the MSU Board of trustees remains the treatment of the survivors as the enemy,” he said. “They need to be replaced by teachers who are prepared to reform the culture of sexual abuse MSU, the treatment of the survivors with compassion and rebuilding the tarnished reputation of this great University.”

 

Caleb Parke is an associate editor for FoxNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter @calebparke

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular