EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The son of a former Michigan State University athletic director said it’s a “fabrication” that his father would have covered up a rape allegation made against Larry Nassar in 1992.
Pat Perles told ESPN that allegations in a lawsuit filed Monday against MSU seem to be aimed at getting a “quick payday.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a woman who said she was drugged and raped on videotape in 1992 when she was a 17-year-old field hockey player and Nassar was a medical student. It would be one of the earliest assault allegations against Nassar, who became a sports doctor at MSU and USA Gymnastics.
Nassar is now serving decades in prison for child pornography and sexual assault.
George Perles is an elected member of MSU’s governing board and a former football coach. He also was athletic director until spring 1992.
The lawsuit claims he was aware of Nassar’s assault in 1992 and covered it up, and that campus police wouldn’t pursue it. The lawsuit states Perles forced the field hockey coach to return the video and then ousted the coach.
“His memory is remarkably good for a man his age,” Pat Perles said of his 84-year-old father. “He doesn’t remember any of this because it never happened. There was no meeting with the field hockey coach. It certainly didn’t include this subject. It’s a fabrication.”
MSU police chief Jim Dunlap, who was an officer in 1992, said the suggestion that campus police would back down and not take a report about a rape is “nonsense.”
George Perles hasn’t commented. Michigan State is lining up a lawyer to represent him, although he’s not a defendant in the lawsuit. Pat Perles declined to speak to The Associated Press on Thursday.
The woman’s lawyer, Jordan Merson of New York, hasn’t returned messages seeking further comment. The lawsuit was filed to meet a Monday deadline for legal claims against MSU, although the allegations might be too old to qualify for a share of $75 million set aside for Nassar victims who aren’t part of a larger $425 million settlement.
The lawsuit “discredits the pain and suffering of all these other people who were abused by Nassar because someone is trying to take advantage for a quick payday,” Pat Perles told ESPN.
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