Local police apologize to Nassar victim

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MERIDIAN TWP., Mich. (WILX) - Meridian Township Police held a press conference Thursday afternoon to apologize to one of Larry Nassar's victims for not forwarding her complaint against Nassar to prosecutors in 2004.

Brianne Randall-Gay had filed a sexual assault complaint with the police that was not handled properly. She participated in the press conference via Skype from her hometown of Seattle.

Township Manager Frank Walsh ran the conference along with key speaker, Meridian Twp. Police Chief Dave Hall.

Members of the media and the community were present and able to ask questions of Walsh, Hall, and Randall-Gay.

Walsh was visibly emotional with the department's apology. He told the media his daughter was in the room and even his wife. He talked about the trust that the department and Randall-Gay have established in the last couple of weeks. Meridian Township paid for Randall-Gay's flight so she could give her impact statement at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar.

When Brianne Randall-Gay spoke she said that she was disappointed that no charges were filed. She said, "I felt I was ignored." She told the room that the police called her and apologized and offered to pay for her plane ticket to the hearing. She spoke of actions that the department would take to never let this happen again. She said working with them on new initiatives has been therapeutic for her.

Manager Walsh offered up some of the initiatives that they want to put in place, which include better training with police about criminal sexual conduct, and develop training for the community for youth and children to understand what criminal sexual conduct is and how to report it.

The police said that one of the downfalls of the investigation was that they didn't pass it on to another medical expert, that they just took Nassar's word for it. They said that the officer in charge of the case, Sgt. McCready, was deceived by Nassar. It also should have been taken to the prosecutor's office, but it wasn't.

Walsh said, "Missing one is to many." Since November, the department has started reviewing multiple complaints from 2000 - 2018 about sexual misconduct.

Walsh was asked if the station contacted MSU and told them about the complaint. They said that they had not. They also said that no other victims had come forward at that time.

The officer that was in charge of Randall-Gay's report was not present at the conference but is still active on the force. A member of the media asked Randall-Gay how she felt that he was still employed with Meridian Township. She said she was okay with it, that she trusts the department is doing the right thing. Manager Walsh did tell the media that Sgt. McCready told them he was "duped" by Nassar, who brought in diagrams, and medical journals to defend himself and the procedure, stating it was medical.

Regarding the report itself, and why it was never released, Manager Walsh explained they were told on September 19, 2016 to not release the report. He said there was "no criminal intent, no cover-up" by the department, that they were just complying.

The media asked Walsh what he thought of MSU's response to the investigation and he said, "it's not appropriate for Meridian Township to talk about the response of another institution."

A member of the board also spoke briefly, stating that the Meridian Township Board "stands behind the department 100%."