How medical bullshit and authority helped Larry Nassar get away with it

Larry Nassar, the USA Gymnastics doctor who sexually assaulted hundreds of young girls, will spend the rest of his life in jail. USA Gymnastics circled the wagons and shredded the files, and as a result it's hard to understand details of how it faciliated and protected Nassar. But Kerry Howley's startling article in New York Magazine shows how important medical bullshit was to his strategy and how the fraternal relationship between medical and administrative authority covered for him.

17-year-old Brianne Randall filed a complaint with Meridian Township police and had a rape kit administered at the local hospital. Detective Andrew McCready called Nassar and asked him to come in for questioning, which he did. Nassar told McCready that he had indeed touched Brianne’s perineum, that it was part of a treatment called “sacrotuberous-ligament release,” and that the treatment was “published in medical journals and training tapes.” He also gave McCready his PowerPoint presentation on said ligament, in which he is pictured cupping a girl’s buttocks and pressing near a girl’s vulva. McCready then called Brianne’s mother to tell her the case would be closed and that “no crime was committed.”

And:

in 2014, cheerleader Amanda Thomashow reported an assault to one of MSU’s Title IX investigators and university police... Thomashow, concluded [investigator Kristine] Moore, failed to understand the “nuanced difference” between osteopathic manipulative medicine and sexual massage. “Dr. Nassar has presented on this nationally and internationally,”

This sort of thing was constant and typical. It's hard to see where dumb respect for the doctor stops and willful contempt for his victims begins.

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