SoCal athlete files sexual assault lawsuit against former Michigan State doctor

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Thursday, December 22, 2016
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A former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics physician faces charges of sexual assault and possession of child pornography.

JURUPA VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- A former college athlete, from southern California, joined a class-action lawsuit against a former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor accused of sexual assault and possessing child pornography.

In 1998 while at Michigan State, Tiffany Thomas Lopez said she was treated for a back injury by the team's doctor, Dr. Larry Nassar.

"He inserted his ungloved hand into my vagina telling me that this treatment would alleviate my lower back pain," Lopez said.

The 36-year-old stepped forward nearly two decades after the alleged abuse, following the arrest of Nassar last month.

"I understand now that the treatments he performed for his sexual gratification were not to facilitate my healing. He assaulted me more than 12 times," Lopez said.

Lopez shared that she was recruited from Jurupa Valley High School to play softball at Michigan State University. She has since filed a lawsuit against the university and Nassar.

Lopez said her complaints to her trainers in early 2000 concerning the team's doctor were dismissed.

"I told her my story and she says, 'You understand he is a world-renowned doctor? He treats elite athletes just like yourself," Lopez said.

Her attorney, John Manly, said, "The university's own policy... requires they report. They did none of that."

Dozens of other women have come forward accusing Nassar of molesting them. Two former gymnasts have also filed lawsuits.

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