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Lawsuit Alleges Perles Rape Cover-Up

A lawsuit coming to light today alleges that Larry Nassar raped a Michigan State University field hockey player in 1992, and that when she reported the assault, then-MSU Athletics Director George Perles was involved in covering it up.

According to the lawsuit, Erika Davis was 17 when her MSU field hockey coach at the time, Martha Ludwig, sent her to Nassar for treatment of a knee injury. The suit alleges that under the guise of treatment, Nassar drugged and raped her. Upon learning of the incident, Ludwig confronted Nassar and complained to Perles. Perles then allegedly forced her to resign and sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Following the alleged rape, Davis became pregnant and later miscarried.

Perles was football coach at the same time. He resigned as AD that year but went on to coach the football team for two more seasons. He currently is a member of the MSU Board of Trustees, first elected in 2006. He has not responded to media inquiries.

A statement issued by the university expresses regret for Nassar’s abuses and the trauma experienced by sexual assault survivors. It continues that “while the protocols and procedures mentioned in this lawsuit do not reflect how sexual assault claims are handled at MSU, we are taking the allegations very seriously and looking into the situation.”

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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