The president of Michigan State University is resigning, after being pressured for weeks to step down amid the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal, MSU announced Wednesday night.
Lou Anna Simon became MSU's first female president in 2005, and began her career at the university in the mid-1970s. Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics national team doctor and former MSU doctor, pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. More than 150 women have accused him of abuse, and on Wednesday, he was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison.
Several of the victims said they told MSU officials about the abuse but were silenced or ignored, the Detroit Free Press reports. Simon said she received a report in 2014 regarding Nassar being cleared in a sexual assault investigation, but did not see the full case file. While some members of the board of trustees called on Simon to step down, she had the support of others, as well as notable MSU employees, including basketball coach Tom Izzo.
UPDATE 12:04 a.m.: MSU released the resignation letter Simon sent to the board of trustees, which included an apology to the women who were abused by Nassar. "To the survivors, I can never say enough that I am so sorry that a trusted, renowned physician was really such an evil, evil person who inflicted such harm under the guise of medical treatment," she wrote. "I know that we all share the same resolve to do whatever it takes to avert tragedies here and elsewhere."