IndyStar reporters visit HSJI, talk Larry Nassar investigation

The Indiana University Media School hosted two IndyStar journalists in the Franklin Commons

IndyStar investigative reporter Tim Evans and photographer Bob Scheer discussed their multiyear investigation into sexual harassment accusations against USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar with journalism students at Indiana University’s High School Journalism Institute.

Evans began the press conference by discussing how their team rolled out its investigation, starting the from the beginning. While investigating a case at an Indianapolis independent school, another IndyStar Investigative reporter Marisa Kwiatkowski received a tip regarding sexual misconduct within USA Gymnastics.

When the IndyStar’s team began its investigation, Nassar was not necessarily the target.

“We didn’t know anything about Larry Nassar,” Evans said.

But as story about Nassar reached publication quality, Evans reached out to him for a comment. To Evan’s surprise, Nassar chose to invite him to conduct an interview, which was held as his attorney’s office.

Nassar appeared “calm and collected” while talking, Evans said. In the middle of the interview, Evans told Nassar that a California woman had just filed a lawsuit against him. Nassar’s lawyer Matthew Borgula ended the interview and gave a more standard statement to the IndyStar in 2016: “Dr. Nassar…adamantly denies any misconduct at this or any other time.”

Since IndyStar reported the story in 2016, more than 300 women have come forward to allege further claims of harassment against Nassar. In January 2018, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina allowed any woman to testify against him to do so if they wished to, leading to a conviction.

The earliest Nassar can be released from the FBI prison in Arizona, where he is serving his sentence, will be in the year 2069 at age 105.

“I’ve just signed your death warrant,” Aquilina said as Nassar left court for the last time.