Michigan Legislators Tackle Sex Abuse Laws

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Michigan Legislators Tackle Sex Abuse Laws



For years, Larry Nassar abused gymnasts and others while holding a position at Michigan State University (MSU). His recent conviction for these crimes – and the media firestorm that resulted – is reverberating in the state capitol.  Legislators are rushing to introduce a number of bills aimed at fixing problems exposed by the failure of authorities to stop Nassar.


The bills being considered would make a wide variety of changes to state law, including:

  • Mandating that coaches, volunteers, and others in a school system report suspected sexual abuse
  • Allowing prosecutors to introduce more testimony about a suspect’s past sexual crimes
  • Increasing the penalties for those who are mandated to report suspected sexual abuse but fail to do so
  • Making it a misdemeanor for someone in authority to interfere with another person who is trying to report a sex crime
  • Adding sexual abuse to the crimes that can be reported on the state’s anonymous tip line
  • Requiring universities to publicly disclose their costs of dealing with charges brought against the school or any of the school’s employees


In addition, the state House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on MSU President Anna Simon to resign. There has also been talk of legislation that would prohibit universities from using money they receive from the state to settle sex crimes.


It remains to be seen which of these bills makes it through the House and Senate. None have yet received a vote.


Do you think that Michigan needs to strengthen its laws regarding sexual abuse in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal? Should Michigan State University President Anna Simon resign?



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