A federal lawsuit filed on Monday by a former scholarship field hockey player at Michigan State University alleges that after Dr. Larry Nassar raped her when she was 17, Michigan State University officials were alerted that a videotape of the crime existed, but covered it up and informed the coach who reported it he had to resign. The victim later lost her scholarship.
The lawsuit filed by Erika Davis of California and other plaintiffs stated Nassar drugged Davis in 1992, prompting her to become woozy, then raped her while the incident was videotaped.
According to Davis’s suit, her coach went to Nassar’s office, demanded the video, and got it, but after she notified then-athletic director George Perles, “she was forced to return the video, resign and sign a non-disclosure agreement.”
But the lawsuit claims Davis’ coach kept a copy of the videotape.
Heavy.com reported that a few months after the alleged rape, “Davis reportedly told a dorm mom that she hadn’t gotten her period, and she was advised to take a pregnancy test. The test came back positively, and the dorm mother advised her to tell the police that she had been raped.” Davis reportedly informed police; Davis claims they told her to inform the athletic department. The lawsuit states, “(Davis) explained that the athletic department already dismissed it and the sergeant responded that George Perles is a ‘powerful man,’ and she should just drop it.”
The lawsuit also states, “(Davis) suffers from anxiety, depression and a host of other issues, including a suicide attempt in 1993 and suicidal ideation at many other times. (She) avoided gynecological exams due to the trauma caused by Defendant Nassar. When Plaintiff Erika was finally persuaded to have a gynecological examination, she was told that she had been infected by the HPV virus which caused (Davis’) cervical cancer.”
On Tuesday, the university said it was investigating the lawsuit’s claims, stating:
We are deeply sorry for the abuses Larry Nassar has committed, and for the trauma experienced by all sexual assault survivors. Sexual abuse, assault and relationship violence are not tolerated in our campus community. While the protocols and procedures mentioned in this lawsuit do not reflect how sexual assault claims are handled at MSU, we are taking the allegations very seriously and looking into the situation.
The lawsuit is suing the university, its board of trustees, Nassar, USA Gymnastics, and former MSU gymnastics coach Kathie Klages, among others.
NBC News reports, “Davis was examined twice, with the first examination, videotaped by a third party, ending after Nassar fondled and licked her breasts, the filing alleges.”