Michigan State University announced Wednesday that a $500 million settlement agreement had been reached between it and the over 300 women who said that they were sexually abused and assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar.
ABC News reports that the decision was reached privately between the university and the lawyers for the 332 victims and that $425 million of that money is for his current accusers; the rest will be set aside for any future claims that come out. The Nassar case is one of the biggest sex abuse cases in sports history, eclipsing the $109 million that Penn Sate University paid out to assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s 35 victims in 2012.
Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison in January, after a harrowing trial that saw 156 women give victim impact statements in open court. The former doctor, who administered his abuse to his victims under the guise of “treatment,” was found guilty on 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct; as he is already serving a 60 year sentence for child pornography charges, it seems unlikely that he will leave prison before he dies.
In a statement Brian Breslin, chairman of Michigan State’s governing board, said that they were “truly sorry to all the survivors and their families for what they have been through,” and noted that there is an obvious “need for change” at the university in the conversations around sexual assault. The school has been accused of dismissing or ignoring complaints about Nassar’s behavior since the 1990s. As for the payout, there’s no indication as to how much money each victim will receive, nor is it clear how Michigan State is planning on funding this settlement.