Bills To Address Campus Sexual Misconduct Hit Roadblock

Bills To Address Campus Sexual Misconduct Hit Roadblock

Bills To Address Campus Sexual Misconduct Hit Roadblock

Senator voted Wednesday night to retroactively give victims more time to sue, restrict governments' ability to claim immunity from such lawsuits and expand who is legally required to report suspected abuse to authorities. A gymnast first notified a Michigan State University coach of concerns about Nassar, a sports doctor, in 1997. Under a bill spearheaded by Nassar victims and approved 28-7, those abused as children in 1997 or later would have a one-year window in which to file suit.

In the end, the legislation that passed had changes relating to the statute of limitations for filing civil suits as well as more narrowly tailoring provisions related to governmental immunity in response to heavy opposition from universities, the Catholic Church and others. In another change to the legislation, people sexually assaulted as adults would not be able to sue retroactively.

More than 250 women and girls have come forward about the abuse they suffered at the hands of Nassar while he worked at MSU and USA Gymnastics.

The bills were introduced in the MI legislature in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal.

The state's 15 public universities are now asking the legislature to delay voting on the sex abuse prevention bills.

"Civil retroactivity would hold the people and taxpayers who support today's churches, schools, civic organizations, and local and state government financially accountable for allegations from decades past", the Catholic Conference, the church's lobbying arm, said in a statement. "We have a really unique opportunity to take MI out of the dark ages when it comes to our laws surrounding sexual assault, to give a voice to the victims who have been denied that voice for decades in some cases". The statute of limitations for the rest should not apply, according to a newly filed motion in federal court, because the defendants "fraudulently concealed" the abuse for years despite some girls having raised concerns with coaches and trainers.