Investigation finds no misconduct by police in 2004 case

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Fifteen years after investigators failed to bring her sexual assault complaint against Larry Nassar to prosecutors, Brianne Randall-Gay said she has answers to help her keep healing. 

“I know the overwhelming guilt I feel every day for not pursuing this in 2004, and I can’t imagine the guilt that they, too, must feel,” she said in a statement responding to an independent investigation released Tuesday. “They made a mistake, a mistake that they will live with for the rest of their lives. I offered my forgiveness in the past and I continue to extend my forgiveness to them.”

Randall-Gay was a 17-year-old soccer player seeing Nassar for treatment for her scoliosis when she reported to her mother, and then to Meridian Township police, that Nassar had sexually assaulted her. 

She said she requested the investigation, looking both for answers about why lead investigator Detective Andrew McCready, who’s now a sergeant with the department, closed the case without forwarding it to Ingham County, Michigan, prosecutors and for closure beyond a public apology issued last year. 

Township officials hired retired East Lansing police Lt. Ken Ouellette in December to investigate the department’s handling of the 2004 sexual assault complaint. 

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Township officials hoped the review would help them learn from their mishandling of the case and “ensure similar issues do not occur in the future.”

“We live with what would have happened in 2004 and moving forward if we’d gotten it right,” township Manager Frank Walsh said during a news conference Tuesday, referring to the argument that if the township had caught Nassar in 2004, it would have spared some victims. “We carry that every day.”

Randall-Gay hopes ‘other institutions take similar steps’

Ouellette’s independent investigation found no link between the disgraced former doctor and investigators and doesn’t allege any misconduct by township police or officials.

His investigation was expected to take about two months. It ended up taking more than four months as he examined records and conducted interviews and numerous phone calls.

He says in the report that all but two individuals – Alan Spencer and Russell Wolff, both retired employees of the police department who were senior to McCready in 2004 – agreed to be interviewed.

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Walsh said Ouellette’s report details what officials said 14 months ago when they apologized to Randall-Gay – that Nassar “duped” investigators, that they should have forwarded the case to prosecutors and that they needed to make fixes to ensure it wouldn’t happen again. 

Randall-Gay thanked township officials and both current and former police officers for cooperating in the investigation and being transparent about how they handled her case. 

“My hope is that other institutions take similar steps in accountability and transparency,” she wrote.

Here are five key findings from a Lansing State Journal examination of the report:

The review found no link between investigators and Nassar

Ouellette writes that both Randall-Gay and township Manager Frank Walsh requested that he investigate possible links between Nassar and anyone involved in the police investigation.

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He asked everyone he interviewed “if they had ever heard of, knew of, or had any association with Larry Nassar, either personally or professionally, or if any family members knew of him.”

“No one interviewed indicated they ever heard of Larry Nassar prior to this case in 2004,” he writes in the investigation report.

McCready didn’t consult anyone before closing the case

Ouellette writes McCready told him “Meridian Township did not have the money to consult a doctor” and that you “ ‘can’t just walk into a doctor’s office and ask them questions about something like this.’ ”

Ouellette also writes it doesn’t appear “there was any communication between McCready and (Alan) Spencer during the investigation.” Spencer was McCready’s supervisor at the time. 

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Randall-Gay says this also is a concern of hers, as the documentation in the case was “insufficient” and Spencer should have been stepping in “if basic investigative work was not taking place.”

Township Police Chief Ken Plaga said there are now more guidelines for supervisors’ roles. All sexual assault complaints now go to his office for review before the department can close them, he said. 

Ouellette described McCready as “a relatively inexperienced investigator” with less than nine months of experience and no detective training related to criminal sexual conduct when he took on Randall-Gay’s case.

Randall-Gay’s case is the only one McCready didn’t forward

McCready handled 15 investigations of criminal sexual conduct during his 2½ years as a detective, Ouellette said.

One of those was turned over to the proper jurisdiction. Of the other 14, all but Randall-Gay’s were forwarded to the prosecutor’s office or probate court for criminal warrants or juvenile petitions.

Ouellette writes he found “McCready routinely sent (criminal sexual conduct) investigations on for prosecutorial review in efforts to seek criminal charges” and that it seems he believed no crime had been committed in Randall-Gay’s case.

Even Randall-Gay’s mother didn’t question Nassar’s treatment

Ellen Speckman-Randall told Ouellette that during a meeting between herself, McCready and Nassar, they didn’t talk about whether the procedure Nassar performed on her daughter was valid.

Instead, she complained about Nassar not using gloves, his explanation of the procedure and the fact that he was alone with Randall-Gay.

Nassar acknowledged her complaint “had merit” and said he would change the procedure, she told Ouellette.

“Speckman-Randall mentioned she believed Nassar had a ‘good rapport with people and he was very believable,’ ” Ouellette writes, adding she was “reluctant to contest the treatment” because of Nassar’s standing within athletic and Olympic communities.

The 88-page report included a 26-page presentation Nassar gave police in 2004 explaining why his treatment was a legitimate medical treatment. 

A review of McCready’s actions didn’t result in discipline

Randall-Gay had been told the police department conducted an internal investigation of the way McCready handled her case.

Interviews with Chief Plaga and retired Chief David Hall indicated there wasn’t a full investigation. Instead, Walsh, the township manager, told Ouellette there was a manager’s review.

Walsh initiated that review himself, conducted the investigation and decided not to discipline McCready.

Randall-Gay didn’t call for discipline in her statement, either.

“As angry as I am, I have sympathy for Sergeant McCready and others involved in this case as I do not believe they had mal-intent,” she writes. 

She says the statement will be the only one she makes about the investigation, as the past three years have “taken a toll” on her and her family and she now wants to focus on healing. 

Follow Megan Banta on Twitter: @MeganBanta_1

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