WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- One by one, survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of Dr. Larry Nassar shared their story Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
In a powerful moment, dozens gathered at a press conference sharing their name, age, and the age they were when Nassar started sexually abusing them.
Olympic gold-medalist Aly Raisman said, “MSU [Michigan State University], USA Gymnastics, and USOC [United States Olympic Committee] have failed all of us and continue to do so.”
As the survivors sat in a Senate hearing room to watch testimony from acting leaders at those three entities, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked the survivors to stand. In a rare moment for a Senate hearing, people erupted in applause for the survivors.
Later in the hearing, Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) pressed Michigan State University's interim president, John Engler, on hiring decisions and his actions toward survivors.
Peters challenged Engler with a letter from 120 survivors saying Engler reinforces a culture of abuse at MSU.
Peters asked Engler, “If your presence is so harmful to survivors, why should you keep your job? Would you answer that please?”
Engler responded, “Absolutely, I’d be happy to. Under my leadership accountability is being instilled across the university.”
Engler also said more people are willing to bring complaints on campus, said reporting and evaluation policies have been strengthened at the medical clinic, and cited a $500 million settlement for abuse survivors.
Engler said, “We’re proud of what we’ve done, we’re proud of what we’re doing.”