Michigan State president threatens Nassar victim during volatile Board of Trustees meeting
Apr 15 2018 by Kathy Alvarado
Kaylee Lorincz, an 18-year-old survivor of Larry Nassar alleged a secret attempt by MSU Interim President John Engler to settle her civil suit against the university.
Along with her mother, Lorincz was on campus March 28 to sign up to speak at Friday's board meeting when she said she saw Engler and asked if he had time to speak with her. Lorincz said she met that day with Engler, Guerrant and an attorney assigned as special counsel to Michigan State's president.
During a Michigan State University board of trustees meeting, a Larry Nassar victim accused the school's interim president of trying to buy her off to get her to drop her lawsuit against the school.
"Right now, if I wrote you a check for $250,000, would you take it?"
Engler also told Lorincz that he had previously met with Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar, and that she "gave him a number" for what she would accept as a settlement for the lawsuits.
So she followed up with Rachel, she says, who told her she had never met with Engler - and never gave a dollar amount. When he asked her to step away from the lectern after her allotted three minutes were up, protests - punctuated by chants of "Let her speak!" - erupted in the meeting room that held a gathering of an estimated two dozen student activists and parents of survivors of Nassar's abuse.
Wearing teal t-shirts in support of Nassar's victims, protesters repeatedly disrupted the Board of Trustees meeting, shouting over Interim President John Engler and other board members who discussed topics ranging from the fallout over the Nassar scandal to room and board rates. "It was a discussion about the civil litigation and how it was going on".
Gymnast Kaylee Lorincz, standing with her coach, gives her victim impact statement during the seventh day of Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing on January 24, 2018, in Lansing, Michigan. I am sorry if anything said during the meeting was misunderstood.
In Friday's board meeting, Engler acknowledged that the school "provided an unnecessary amount of detail", saying some people saw the response as "violating privacy expectations". Regardless, since mediation of all claims begins on April 25, there will be an appropriate place for discussions concerning what would be a fair and equitable resolution.
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At this point in Lorincz's public comments, Engler interrupted her.
"You created this, not me".
The meeting allegedly went downhill from there, particularly after Kaylee's mother, Lisa, broached the subject of the recent arrest of Nassar's boss at the school, Dean William Strampel, for allegedly groping and propositioning medical students and collecting nude pictures of students on his work computer. "He has said some hurtful things and I wanted him to know that when he does that, he causes me to feel victimized all over again".
She said Engler rolled his eyes, and said it was "only a slap on the butt".
The atmosphere inside the board meeting quickly drew tension as Engler attempted to steer focus toward celebrating milestones of the university but was usurped by boos and jeers from a crowd clad in teal shirts with the phrase, "I stand with the sister survivors #MeTooMSU". "My jaw dropped, and I said 'Just a slap on the butt?"
"It's MSU for ya, I guess", Lorincz told reporters after the trustee's meeting. And I had to continually tell him that I'm not here for the money.
"I felt like I was being bullied into saying something and that if Rachael gave him a settlement amount, it was okay for me to do it too", Lorincz said. "I'm here for healing and change".
That is when Kaylee ran into interim president John Engler, who was previously the governor of MI.