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Police dept. to apologize for doubting 2004 Larry Nassar accuser

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Police dept. to apologize for doubting 2004 Larry Nassar accuser

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Brendan McDermid Reuters
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Brianne Randall-Gay was 17 years old when she went to see Michigan State University sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar for back pain over a decade ago.

Her next stop was the Meridian Township Police Department, to report that Nassar, who was also the team physician for USA Gymnastics, sexually abused her during the appointment.

"You had audacity to tell (police) I misunderstood the treatment because I was not comfortable with my body," Randall-Gay told Nassar last week during his sentencing hearing in Ingham County Court.

"Sadly, they took your word instead of mine."

Image: Victim Brianne Randall speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing
Brianne Randall-Gay speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar. Brendan McDermid Reuters

Meridian police have confirmed they did not refer Randall-Gay's complaint to prosecutors. She got no justice — but 13 years later, she's getting an apology.

The police department announced Tuesday that it will hold a press conference Thursday where Chief David Hall "will issue a public statement and apology on the handling of the 2004 police report." New initiatives and training for sex-crimes investigations will also be announced, the department said.

Related: Eight times Larry Nassar could have been stopped

It's the latest development in a week's worth of upheaval triggered by Nassar's sentencing hearing and the 156 accusers who gave testimony in court.

Among the fallout:

Both MSU and USA Gymnastics have been accused of mishandling reports of Nassar's abuse stretching back to 1997, although both institutions have denied it.

Randall-Gay's complaint is one of at least eight times that, according to his victims, Nassar could have been stopped.

At last week's hearing, she said she reported the abuse "immediately" and even had a rape kit done. Police arranged a meeting between Nassar and her mother and father, who was dying of cancer.

Nassar told them he penetrated the teenager with his hand as part of a medical procedure -- a claim he repeated this month in a letter to the judge, even after he pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct charges."

"Nobody was listening."

Randall-Gay said she has suffered from anxiety since the incident. She initially sent a written statement to be read aloud at the hearing, but after listening to some other victims speak, she decided she wanted to appear in person.

Meridian Township paid for her to fly to Michigan from Seattle, and she confronted Nassar in the courtroom before he was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison.

"I am here to tell you I wasn't afraid of you then, and I'm sure as hell not afraid of you now," Randall-Gay said.

She urged institutions and authority figures to pay attention to children reporting abuse, saying Nassar was allowed to keep molesting "because nobody was listening."