Advance Notice: Briefs

MSU acting President Udpa apologizes to Nassar survivors

By: - February 16, 2019 12:13 am

New MSU interim President Satish Udpa | Michael Gerstein

Michigan State University’s new acting president, Satish Udpa, issued a statement apologizing to survivors of former MSU gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar’s sexual assault during a Board of Trustees meeting Friday.

In a statement, Udpa said he felt the need “to formally apologize and to effectively atone” for the abuse that hundreds of young girls who endured Nassar, who was charged by former Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office with 10 counts of criminal sexual misconduct.

Kaylee Lorincz, a sexual abuse survivor at the board meeting when Satish Udpa was selected | Michael Gerstein

Nassar was effectively handed a lifetime in prison after federal judge previously gave him 60 years in federal prison for also possessing about 37,000 images of child pornography, in addition to state charges.

Schuette’s office had also accused MSU of stonewalling an investigation into Nassar, as the Michigan Advance previously reported.

“To each of you and to the survivor community, I am sorry you were subjected to the pain and humiliation of sexual assault by somebody you should have been able to trust,” Udpa said in a statement Friday.

“We failed to comprehend and acknowledge your injuries at the time,” he said. “We were too slow to grasp the scope and enormity of the offense you endured. And we failed to treat you with the respect and care you deserved even as we sought to make amends.”

John Engler | Wikimedia Commons

A former top MSU administrator, Udpa was selected in January to be the university’s new acting president after former interim President John Engler resigned following backlash over comments he made about survivors to the Detroit News.

The university is still looking for a permanent replacement to former MSU president Lou Anna Simon, who resigned over the Nassar scandal and has since been charged with lying to police about her knowledge of the case.

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Michael Gerstein
Michael Gerstein

Michael Gerstein is a former Advance reporter covering the Governor's office, criminal justice and the environment.