Two victims of former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar spoke out in a campaign ad for Michigan gubernatorial candidate Brian Calley that was posted online Monday.
Kaylee Lorincz and Rachael Denhollander endorsed Calley, the state’s current Republican lieutenant governor, in a video explaining that he signed legislation granting victims of childhood sexual assault more time to sue on June 12.
“What this really represents is incredible leadership,” Denhollander said in the ad. “On behalf of Lt. Gov. Calley, seeing this type of leadership working tirelessly for needed reform is really powerful, and I am very grateful.” (RELATED: Olympic Gymnast Says Larry Nassar Tried To Bribe Her With Food [VIDEO])
Denhollander was the first Nassar victim to step forward publicly and accuse him of sexual assault. She testified along with more than 150 other women, including Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, at Nassar’s highly publicized trial in January.
Nassar has been serving a 60-year sentence for possession of child pornography in federal prison since February. He was accused of molesting more than 260 victims and was sentenced to two 40-year state sentences for sexual abuse that he will serve should he outlive his federal sentence.
Calley also joined a group of Michigan lawmakers calling for the resignation of interim president John Engler of Michigan State University, which employed Nassar for years. Engler, a Republican who was governor of Michigan from 1991 to 2003, wrote emails suggesting that Denhollander was receiving “kickbacks” for her testimony and was “manipulating” other victims, according to The Detroit News.
“This was a vile character attack,” Denhollander tweeted on Wednesday. “It was a lie.” (RELATED: Turns Out USA Gymnastics Covered Up For Sex Abuser Larry Nassar’s Indiscretions)
This wasn’t tone deaf. This was a vile character attack. It was a lie. This is how Engler views survivors. And his views and methods were well known when he was hired. Call it what it is, he serves at your direction. Change the direction if you don’t agree. https://t.co/uomVN4xOYu
— Rachael Denhollander (@R_Denhollander) June 13, 2018
Calley will face many candidates including Attorney General Bill Schuette in Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial primary on August 7. Schuette and his office were responsible for prosecuting Nassar and ensured he was sentenced on state sexual assault charges.
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