Press Conference Held on Investigation Findings from 2004 Nassar Complaint
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - 14 months ago, Meridian Township held a press conference apologizing to Brianne Randall-Gay and responding to how her sexual assault police report filed in 2004 against Larry Nassar was not handled appropriately by the Meridian Township Police Department.
At the December 11, 2018 Township Board meeting, the Board approved an Investigative Services Contract with Kenneth Ouellette Investigations L.L.C. and Randall-Gay in the amount of $3,000 with a not-to-exceed amount of $4,500. This investigation was requested by Randall-Gay to help with the healing process and to find out what happened in her September 2004 encounter with Nassar and the Meridian Township Police Department.
On March 26, the Township held a press conference about the findings of the 88-page independent investigative report.
“The findings (of the report) really in most ways emulate what we said in (2018 about what happened in) 2004. Yes we should have contacted a medical expert to verify Nassar. Yes we should have sent it on to the county. Yes we were manipulated,” said Meridian Township Manager Frank Walsh. “What’s most important is that we continue to focus on taking what happened in 2004 and making things better in our community in many ways.”
“We live with what would have happened in 2004 and going forward if we would have got it right. We live with the fact of all the young women who were manipulated by Nassar after 2004. We carry that every day,” Township Manager Walsh added.
When asked about any disciplinary action taken towards Meridian Township Police Sergeant Andrew McCready, who was the Detective handling Randall-Gay’s complaint in 2004, Township Manager Walsh said, “When I look at the totality of 19 years, I am not going to issue or recommend or implement any discipline against someone who’s had a great career minus what happened in September 2004.”
Township Manager Walsh added that “Andrew has been deeply, deeply compassionate towards Brianne. Sergeant McCready is a good man, Sergeant McCready is a good Officer. We fully support him.”
Brianne Randall-Gay has provided this written statement in response to report, “I want to start by thanking Ken Oullette for conducting this investigation. He was thorough in his examination and was able to provide me with answers to further assist in my healing. I also thank Meridian Township for agreeing to this investigation and for their cooperation. My hope is that other institutions take similar steps in accountability and transparency. The purpose of this investigation was to gain a better understanding of what transpired in order to provide me closure and identify errors that the township could correct to ensure that this does not happen again.”
“I’ve talked to a number of people who have been sexually assaulted and one thing’s clear, there is never closure. And we don’t expect this report to be closure for Brianne, but we do hope it’s a pathway to healing for her,” said Township Manager Walsh. “But as far as the Township is concerned, our investigative work is over. Our total focus will now be on making things better.”
Township Manager Walsh added, “The most important thing that came out of all of this was the relationship we developed with her (Brianne). This has been all about her, not about the Township and not about anything else. But all that we can do is to continue to support Brianne, and we will, and continue to support the work that she started and initiated in our community.”
“The 2004 investigation of Brianne Randall-Gay, along with the Township’s work with Brianne, has had a profound effect on the Police Department. It has put into motion several things. These are things that we are doing, we have done and we will continue to do,” said Meridian Township Police Chief Ken Plaga.
The three Criminal Sexual Conduct initiatives the Township implemented in 2018 as a result of this incident included:
- Criminal Sexual Conduct training will be increased amongst all sworn officers. The initial training, offered by the Prosecuting Attorneys of Michigan, began in April 2018. The training included a video segment with Nassar survivor Brianne Randall-Gay sharing her story. Sexual Assault Investigator Becky Payne attended a sexual assault training in March; with training provided subsequently to all sworn personnel.
-Criminal Sexual Conduct cases were reviewed from 2000-2017. 595 Sexual Assault cases were reviewed to assure all survivors’ cases were properly investigated. The Police Chief will sign off on every CSC report.
-The Meridian Township Police Department partnered with Brianne Randall-Gay to develop a community-wide program that addresses how to better educate children on understanding Criminal Sexual Conduct and reporting it to authorities.
“We are going to continue our efforts in the state and in the region to help not only victims, but to help law enforcement be better when it comes to noticing, preventing and reporting sexual assaults,” said Township Manager Walsh.