The Latest: Interim school leader says not time for politics

(AP) — The Latest on the sexual abuse cases and investigations surrounding former sports doctor Larry Nassar (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler says he won’t be political as interim president of Michigan State University, as it deals with scathing criticism over disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar.

The Republican told reporters Wednesday, “This is not the time to be political.” He says working to change things “starts today.”

He spoke after the school’s governing board of trustees unanimously voted to hire him following last week’s resignation of Lou Anna Simon. Many students and faculty members oppose the decision.

Simon stepped down after Nassar was sentenced to decades in prison for sexual abuse. He was accused of abusing young female athletes for decades under the guise of medical treatment while working for the university and USA Gymnastics.

Engler was governor from 1990 through 2002.

Trustees also named another former governor, Democrat Jim Blanchard, to advise the school as it faces numerous lawsuits and investigations.

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11:15 a.m.

A Michigan judge says more than 265 people have come forward to say they were sexual assault victims of disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Judge Janice Cunningham gave the figure as another sentencing hearing for Nassar began. Previously, the total number of sexual assault victims was estimated below 200. More women and girls have been coming forward in the wake of Nassar’s highly publicized sentencing hearing last week in Lansing.

The hearing that started Wednesday centers on sexual assaults at Twistars. The Lansing-area gymnastics club that was run by 2012 Olympic coach John Geddert. In this case, Nassar has admitted to sexually abusing three girls under the guise of treatment.

Roughly 60 women and girls plan to confront him or have their statement read in the courtroom in Charlotte, a city outside Lansing.

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10:45 a.m.

A 17-year-old former gymnast says former sports doctor Larry Nassar took advantage of her “innocence and trust” and molested her when she was 9 and 12 years old.

Jessica Thomashow was the first to confront Nassar on Wednesday during his final sentencing hearing on sexual abuse charges. About 60 girls and women are expected to testify during the hearing, similar to a hearing in nearby Lansing that ended last week after more than 150 victims came forward.

Thomashow told Nassar what he did to her was “twisted.” She says she asks herself all of the time, “Why?”

Another woman, Annie Labrie, testified that Nassar did things to her that “made my skin crawl” but says adults assured her he was the only option as a doctor.

She says gymnastics, dance and other activities have a “specific culture” that allows such abuse to thrive, and that girls learn at a young age not to question authority.

Wednesday’s hearing centers on Nassar assaults at a gymnastics club that was run by 2012 Olympic coach John Geddert.

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10:10 a.m.

The final sentencing hearing is underway in a Michigan courtroom for disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar, who has been accused by scores of girls and women of sexual abuse.

The hearing that started Wednesday centers on his assaults at Twistars, a Lansing-area gymnastics club that was run by 2012 Olympic coach John Geddert. In this case, Nassar has admitted to sexually abusing three girls under the guise of treatment.

Roughly 60 women and girls plan to confront him or have their statement read in the courtroom in Charlotte (shar-LOT’), a city outside Lansing.

More than 150 women confronted Nassar during a similar hearing that ended last week with him being sentenced to as much as 175 years in prison. He’d already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography.

Nassar is accused of abusing young athletes while working for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics.

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9:40 a.m.

Michigan State University trustees have named a hard-nosed former governor and alumnus as interim president as the school faces scathing criticism over its former sports doctor, Larry Nassar.

The school’s board of trustees unanimously voted Wednesday to hire John Engler following last week’s resignation of Lou Anna Simon.

Simon stepped down after Nassar was sentenced to decades in prison for sexual abuse. He was accused of abusing young female athletes for decades under the guise of medical treatment while working for the university and USA Gymnastics.

Engler was Michigan governor from 1990 through 2002. After leaving office because of term limits, the 69-year-old Republican directed business groups in Washington.

Trustees also named another former governor, Democrat Jim Blanchard, to advise the school as it faces lawsuits filed by more than 100 girls and women and investigations by the state attorney general, the NCAA and Congress.

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12:30 a.m.

Ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar’s return to court to face another prison sentence for molesting gymnasts could unfold much the same as a hearing last week in another Michigan county.

Judge Janice Cunningham has set aside several days for roughly 60 people who want to confront Nassar or have their statement read in court. This time Nassar is to be confronted by gymnasts from an elite Michigan club run by an Olympic coach.

Last week Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison.

The hearing starting Wednesday in Eaton County centers on his assaults at Twistars, a Lansing-area gymnastics club that was run by 2012 Olympic coach John Geddert. Nassar admits penetrating three girls with his hands when he was supposed to be treating them for injuries.