Lawmakers Consider Strengthening Laws Regarding Sexual Abuse, Assault

State Senator Ken Horn outlines proposed new laws dealing with cases of sexual assault or abuse. (WSGW News photo by Bill Hewitt)

In the wake of the Doctor Larry Nassar sexual abuse case, state lawmakers are looking at stronger laws against it. State Senator Ken Horn says some victims came forward and reported the abuse and were not believed, leading many to lose faith in the system.

The Frankenmuth Republican says among changes proposed in Lansing would increase penalties for those who fail to report abuse as current law requires. Another change would extend the statute of limitations to report abuse back to 1993 when Nassar received his medical license.

One in five girls and one in 20 boys are victims of sexual assault or abuse. Horn said many victims will not talk about the abuse for years. Many men will finally talk about it when they’re 38-years-old, but women will not say anything until they’re 41-years-old. The victims often feel embarrassed to admit it.

The changes come as Michigan State University and several gymnastic organizations deal with fallout from cases of sexual assault by Nassar. He has been sentenced up to 145 years in prison on state and federal charges for the assaults.

Administrators from Michigan’s 15 public universities sent a letter to lawmakers Monday expressing their concern about losing government immunity in civil lawsuits in the proposed legislation dealing sexual assault or abuse cases.

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