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Nassar victim supports MSU student in rape case

Lawyer and sexual abuse activist Rachael Denhollander calls on Michigan State to fix "deep cultural problem"
Credit: WHAS11

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Community partners and state and local leaders came together Monday for the Kosair Charities Face It Movement to End Child Abuse luncheon.

Lawyer and sexual abuse activist Rachael Denhollander delivered the keynote address at the event highlighting Child Abuse Prevention Month and spoke with WHAS11 about Bailey Kowalski, a Michigan State University student who has recently gone public with rape accusations against three Michigan State basketball players.  

Denhollander, a Louisville native, was the first woman to file a police report and speak publicly against former U.S. Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor Larry Nassar, who is now serving time in prison for sexual assault and other crimes.

Kowalski’s lawsuit claims university officials, like those in the Nassar case, failed to take allegations of sexual assault seriously.

“I was incredibly proud of her for taking that step and I hope after everything we have looked at at Michigan State what we realize is that there is a deep cultural problem there,” Denhollander said. “They need to look for the problem and they need to admit the problem and then they need to take steps to fix it. They have yet to do that.”

In 2018 the Kentucky General Assembly recognized Denhollander for bravely telling her story and pushing for cultural change.

Today Denhollander gave credit to lawmakers who have pushed to protect children, but said updates to statute of limitations, civil liability and evidence laws could go a long way in protecting Kentucky’s kids.