MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Officials from a township bordering East Lansing have apologized for deciding not to pursue a sexual assault accusation against former sports doctor Larry Nassar more than a decade ago.
At the same time Thursday, Meridian Township authorities announced they are working with the accuser — now one of more than 250 girls and women who have come forward to say Nassar sexually abused them under the guise providing of treatment — to prevent it from ever happening again.
In September 2004, then-17-year-old Brianne Randall-Gay went to Meridian Township police with her mother after an appointment with Nassar, to whom she had been referred for treatment on a scoliosis condition. According to the police report, Randall told the officer Nassar touched her bare breast and crotch area.
“When I reported my abuse to Meridian Township in 2004, I was disappointed that there were no charges filed. I felt like I was ignored,” Randall-Gay said via video conference from Seattle during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
>>App users: Listen to Thursday’s police news conference here.
Then-Detective Andrew McCready interviewed Nassar after being assigned to the case. Nassar sent him a PowerPoint presentation about a ligament procedure called “The Grand Junction” aiming to justify his actions during the appointment.
Instead of seeking a medical opinion on Nassar’s presentation, McCready closed the case.
“Materials were presented to him that he felt were appropriate techniques for a physician and he was wrong. He was deceived,” said Meridian Township Police Chief David Hall, who was interim chief in 2004.
Hall said that from now, on all sexual assault cases will pass his desk before a final decision on charges is made. The department will also implement new training for officers and civilian staff beginning in March, review every single criminal sexual conduct case dating back to 2000 to guarantee the right decision was made and create an outreach program with Randall-Gay’s help that will better educate the community on sexual assault and response.
McCready, who is now a sergeant, was not at the press conference. Township Manager Frank Walsh said he has been approached by several people who want to know why McCready hasn’t lost his badge and if Hall should maintain his position.
“I think (McCready has) been held accountable by the simple fact of what he’s gone through. And the sheer torment that he’s gone through internally, in knowing that he really missed this,” Walsh said. “… What we missed is significant, but they’re on our force and they’re going to be on our force and they have my trust.”
24 Hour News 8 asked Randall-Gay her thoughts about McCready staying on the police department.
“It’s a difficult question because I’m not familiar with what should, what should’ve been done and what was expected to be done at the time from him,” she said. “I trust that manager Walsh and Chief Hall will look into it and look into if there was any issues of misconduct by him.”
She went on to say she looks forward to working with the department.
“I now hope to focus on the future and in making systematic changes to protect victims of sexual abuse. I appreciate the sincerity and kindness shown by Frank Walsh and Chief Hall. It’s been instrumental in my healing process,” Randall-Gay said.
She also stated she’s not currently pursuing any legal action against the township.
When asked about questioning whether assaults could have been prevented if Meridian Township had pursued the allegations more aggressively, Walsh said, “If that’s the case, you don’t know the sorrow we feel about that.”
“We share in that,” he continued. “…But I can’t speculate on what would’ve happened.”
Nassar was a sports doctor for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics for some two decades. The scores of women who say he abused them include high school, MSU and Olympic athletes. He has been sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges and an additional 40 to 175 years for sexual assault convictions out of Ingham County. His sentencing hearing for related sexual assault charges in Eaton County will continue Friday.