Legislation To Protect Young Athletes Moving Forward

A plan to prevent the sexual abuse of young athletes was introduced in Lansing this week in response to the Larry Nassar scandal, and it’s already headed toward approval. On hand for a press conference Monday to unveil the legislative package were victims of Nassar. State Representative Beth Griffin has a bill in the plan that would add coaches, assistant coaches, and athletic trainers to the list of authority figures required to report evidence of abuse. Griffin, a former teacher, told WSJM News more adults should have to look out for young athletes.

“Teachers and coaches both could be in a position where they could hear a story or a report of sexual abuse,” Griffin said.

Other bills in the package would expand the statute of limitations for second degree criminal sexual conduct, increase the penalty for failing to report abuse, allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to remain anonymous, and increase penalties for possession of child pornography. Griffin said the Larry Nassar debacle was a tragedy, but at least some good can come from it. A state Senate committee unanimously passed the bills on Tuesday after hearing from victims of Nassar, an imprisoned former sports doctor who molested gymnasts and other young athletes under the guise of treatment. The bills could win approval in the full Michigan Senate next week.