Michigan State students march for sexual assault survivors

Students at Michigan State, where former doctor Larry Nassar abused some of his sexual assault victims, will march Friday night in support of the survivors of sex abuse.

Gretchen Witmer, a Democratic candidate for governor, will speak, march organizers said on Facebook.

The march was planned earlier this week to demand that MSU President Lou Anna Simon step down, but after her resignation, organizers said the march should go on as a call for more change from the university and to show love for the victims.

“This Friday we will continue to support the survivors of sexual assault, and for essential change to prevent future neglect of women and girls,” they said on Facebook.

People attending the rally also will be encouraged to fill out a postcard with the salutation of “Dear Enabler (blank)” and to send it to a member of the board of trustees.

Former Michigan State gymnast Lindsey Lemke tweeted a picture of herself at the campus landmark called the Rock, where the march will start. The boulder had been painted white with the words “Thank you” and “#timesupmsu” written in teal.

The names of more than 160 of Nassar’s victims were written on the stone.

“THANK YOU SPARTAN NATION FOR YOUR CONTINUOUS SUPPORT! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have this much support from my fellow Spartans or have this big of an impact on so many people. You guys inspire me!!,” Lemke wrote, though it was unclear when in the past few days the photo was taken.

The march comes two days after a state judge sentenced Nassar, the former Michigan State sports and USA Gymnastics physician, to up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing patients under the guise of medical treatment.

Nassar was a Michigan State sports doctor from 1997 to 2016.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican who is running for governor, has said he will conduct a review of what happened at Michigan State, and issue a report and recommendations. His office said details will be announced next week.

The school is also the subject of several lawsuits and an investigation by the NCAA.

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