By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Before the horrendous saga of the USA Gymnastics doctor who molested dozens of women and girls begins to fade from the public eye, let’s take a moment to consider an important lesson the sordid case of Larry Nassar teaches us – we need our institutions to protect us and to prioritize that protection over all other considerations.

In the Nassar case, multiple victims have charged that officials with Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and the U.S. Olympic Committee, which all had authority over Nassar, brushed off the victims and their families when they complained about this sexual predator.

And at Nassar’s sentencing Wednesday, the judge made it clear she hopes they will also have to face justice.

nassarjudgepg Keller @ Large: Why Do Institutions Protect Themselves Instead Of Us?

Judge Rosemare Aquilinia.(WBZ-TV)

“There has to be a massive investigation as to why there was inaction, why there was violence. Justice requires more than what I can do on this bench,” said Judge Rosemarie Aquilina.

This brought back bad memories of the way our politicians so often fail us by hiding the truth from us, the way the Catholic Church blamed the victims and protected the perpetrators of the priest sex abuse scandal, the way government watchdogs are too often leashed, or turned into lapdogs for the abusers of power instead of warriors for their victims.

nassar Keller @ Large: Why Do Institutions Protect Themselves Instead Of Us?

Doctor Larry Nassar at his sentencing in in Lansing, Michigan, January 24, 2018 (WBZ-TV)

Larry Nassar will be spending the rest of his days in prison after pleading guilty, even though he wrote a whiny letter to the court complaining that his accusers were just “scorned women.” and kudos to the judge for voicing outrage at his equivocations.

But unless more institutional players like that judge consistently step up to insist on justice for the victims and their victimizers, who among us can ever really feel safe?

Share your thoughts with me via email at, or you can reach me on Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

Comments (3)
  1. Would you publicly excoriate a senior executive a WBZ, Jon, who is caught being a criminal idiot?

    Of course you wouldn’t. You would not be interested in damaging the “institution” for who you work until your continued silence becomes painful.

    Remember want Bill Clinton did with the Monica Lewinski scandal? He is on record as opining the he’d rather tough-it out than to take public, open responsibility for his actions.

    And what about all of those in the White House that knew what was going on? Where was their courage?

    Not saying that it is right, just saying that one’s interests in self-preservation often get in the way of proper behavior and reasoned objections.

    Now, as for the judge in the Nasser case…There are a lot of people praising her for her toughness. And tough she was in giving him a sentence from which he will never become free for the rest of his life. He deserved that sort of punishment.

    But, oh, the grandstanding. She makes Lance Ito of O.J. Simpson murder trial look like a rank amateur.

    And the sad part is that a bunch of lawyers seeking national fame and the riches the come with it could make a strong case on appeal that the judge acted both unprofessionally and improperly.

    She’s given him a chance at seeing life beyond the confines of a cell.

    And THAT was a stupid, unforced error.


  3. And why aren’t the coaches and olympic authorities along with the University Leaders not all in prison with him? Justice is a joke.

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