Olympics and US Congress also move forward with own investigations after Dr Larry Nassar was convicted of sexually abusing young women on the US gymnastics team for more than 20 years.

Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar stands during the sentencing phase in Ingham County Circuit Court on January 24, 2018.
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar stands during the sentencing phase in Ingham County Circuit Court on January 24, 2018. (AFP)

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette lashed out at Michigan State University for allowing Larry Nassar to sexually abuse girls and women for years, and he took a shot at the school's governing body.

"I don't need advice from the board of trustees," the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Michigan's November election said at a packed news conference on Saturday about his investigation into the school's handling of sexual assault claims against the disgraced doctor. 

"Frankly, they should be the last ones providing advice because of their conduct."

Schuette promised a "full and complete investigation" into how Nassar — the former campus sports doctor and USA Gymnastics doctor — got away with abusing young women over the two decades he worked at the university.

Schuette said retired prosecutor William Forsyth, who has 40-plus years of experience, will work full time on the independent probe. 

As special prosecutor, Forsyth will lead a team that includes top investigators from the state attorney general's office and the State Police.

"What's got Michigan State in some trouble here is the sense that they withheld certain information," Forsyth said. "Maybe because it was going to put them in a better light, but you simply can't do that."

"No individual and no department at Michigan State University is off limits," he warned. 

"Who at Michigan State knew or was aware of what he was doing?"

Nassar was sentenced Wednesday to up to 175 years in prison after being convicted of abusing young female patients. The abuse occurred at his sports medicine clinic at Michigan State University as well as training facilities sanctioned by USA Gymnastics.

The case attracted huge attention for its scope and the victims included high-profile stars such as Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney.

About 160 women appeared in court or testified anonymously to the emotional pain caused by Nassar.

MSU has come under scrutiny in particular for a 2014 investigation that cleared Nassar of serious wrongdoing.

Mark Hollis, director of MSU's prestigious intercollegiate athletics programme since 2008, announced Friday he was stepping down from his post — two days after the university's president resigned.

Schuette said Michigan State University's board of trustees asked him to examine their handling of the scandal but he strongly rejected any input from them.

"Frankly, they should be the last ones to be providing advice given their conduct throughout this entire episode," Schuette said.

Michigan State should establish a compensation fund that "will likely need hundreds of millions of dollars" for victims of Nassar's abuse, Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley said Saturday. 

"I strongly encourage swift action (by MSU) that demonstrates a clear commitment to a dramatic shift in policies," Calley said in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. Calley is Schuette's main rival for the Republican nomination for governor and is a close ally of current governor Rick Snyder.

The board last month authorised the creation of a $10 million fund to offer victims counselling and mental health services.

Nassar's case has shaken US gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee subsequently announced an independent inquiry into the scandal. It demanded that the USA Gymnastics board resign en masse which they did on Friday.

Congress is also investigating the Nassar case, with the US House of Representatives examining allegations of sexual harassment by officials in other sports, including swimming and taekwondo.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies