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Records seized from Michigan State in Nassar investigation

By Allen Cone
Records seized from Michigan State in Nassar investigation
Larry Nassar is led to his seat during sentencing on January 16 in Lansing, Michigan. Special agents from the Michigan Attorney General's Office and Michigan State Police removed records and what appeared to be a flash drive Michigan State buildings. Photo by Rena Laverty/EPA

Feb. 3 (UPI) -- State authorities removed removed items from a building at Michigan State over the school's handling of the Larry Nassar case and other reported sexual assault cases.

John Truscott, a spokesman for President John Engler, referred to the seizure to the Lansing State Journal as a "political stunt rather than an actual law enforcement action." Engler replaced Lou Anna K. Simon, who announced her resignation after Nassar, a doctor for the school and Team USA gymnastics, was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison on seven counts of criminal sexual conduct.

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Agents from the Department of the Attorney General and Michigan State Police obtained evidence from the Hannah Administration Building and Fee Hall. Reporters from several Lansing news organizations witnesses the removal of records and what appeared to be a hard drive.

Attorney General Bill Schuette is investigating how the school handled the Nassar case and other sexual assaults at the school. On Jan. 27, he appointed William Forsyth, a retired Kent County prosecutor, to head the investigation.

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Andrea Bitely, a spokesman for Schuette, said authorities requested the "immediate production" of records and electronic devices used by William Strampel, former dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Nassar's boss.

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"This has not occurred," Bitely said in a statement to the State News. "We are continuing to investigate with our partners at the Michigan State Police and will not be providing further comment."

Truscott said a meeting scheduled with state officials on turning over items was canceled.

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"Then they showed up at the offices today and made a big scene of it. It's unfortunate and lets us know how political this investigation is going to be," Truscott said.

Bitely emailed the State Journal: "There is no schedule for turning things over. It's unfortunate that some have chosen to politicize this investigation. This is not a crisis of our making, but we will get to the bottom of it.

More than 250 women and girls have said they were abused by Nassar during medical appointments or while participating in gymnastics training or events.

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Schette's office has opened a hotline for tips in its investigation of MSU.

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