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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Sep 12, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Woman sues Michigan State, says Nassar raped her in 1992

EAST LANSING (AP) — A woman has filed a lawsuit against Michigan State University, saying she became pregnant after she was drugged and raped by Larry Nassar when he was a medical student in 1992 but that campus police refused to investigate.

The lawsuit was among dozens filed to meet a Monday deadline for legal claims against MSU, although the complaint might be too old to qualify for a share of $75 million set aside by the university for victims who aren't part of a larger $425 million settlement.

Nassar, 55, became a sports doctor at MSU and for elite U.S. gymnasts, but he is now in prison for child pornography crimes and molesting female athletes with his hands.

The woman said she had a knee injury as a 17-year-old field hockey player and was encouraged to go to Nassar in 1992 because he was conducting a study about flexibility through the College of Osteopathic Medicine. The lawsuit alleges that Nassar drugged her, raped her and videotaped the assault.

She said she became pregnant and had a miscarriage.

George Perles, who was athletic director until spring 1992, was aware of the assault and covered it up, and campus police wouldn't pursue it, according to the lawsuit. Perles also was football coach at the time and now is a member of the school's governing board.

Former Detroit IT chief sentenced to 20 months for bribery

DETROIT (AP) — A former head of Detroit's information technology services office has been sentenced to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to accepting more than $29,000 in bribes.

Charles Dodd Jr., 48, of Canton also was sentenced to two years of supervised release following prison.

Federal prosecutors say Dodd admitted that from 2009 to 2016 he accepted more than $15,000 in cash and a trip, among other things, from Parimal D. Mehta, who was then the president and chief executive officer of an IT company. They say Dodd also accepted more than $14,500 in cash from two employees of another IT company. In return, Dodd agreed to provide preferential treatment to the companies.

The 55-year-old Mehta, of Northville, was indicted earlier this year on bribery and fraud charges.

Snyder forms new anti-fraud division in insurance department

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has formed a new division to investigate fraud within the auto insurance, health insurance and banking sectors.

The anti-fraud unit will be housed within the Department of Insurance and Financial Services.

Tuesday's move follows discussion in the Legislature in recent years about creating an authority to crack down on auto insurance fraud — an effort that has stalled over other proposed changes to the auto no-fault law.

Snyder said fraud is driving up the cost of insurance for all Michiganders. His said the department currently has a limited ability to conduct full and complete background checks for those it regulates.

His executive order directs DIFS Director Patrick McPharlin to arrange for appropriate staffing and funding of the anti-fraud unit.

As Lake Superior rises, alder trees die in UP wetlands

HOUGHTON (AP) — Experts say alder trees in Lake Superior wetlands are dying due to high water levels.

Rodney Chimner, an ecologist at Michigan Technological University, said it's all part of a natural process, but he's never seen such a dramatic change. He told The Daily Mining Gazette that wetlands and alder trees began to emerge in 2007 when Lake Superior had low lake levels.

Chimner said the cycle has been changing since 2015.

The newspaper reported that dead alder can be seen all around Lake Superior in the Houghton area and other waters such as Portage Lake. Invasive species, including purple loosestrife, are taking root instead in Nara Nature Park.

ICE: Deaf Nigerian immigrant can leave US voluntarily

DETROIT (AP) — An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said a deaf immigrant from Nigeria in the U.S. illegally can leave the country on his own instead of being deported.

Khaalid Walls said Francis Anwana of Detroit can "make arrangements to depart the U.S. voluntarily" instead of being deported Tuesday as originally planned.

Advocates for Anwana say he has a meeting with ICE officials on Sept. 21.

Friends of Anwana told the Detroit Free Press he's deaf, can't speak and has cognitive disabilities.

Walls said Anwana was admitted to the U.S. in 1987 as an nonimmigrant student, but remained here after leaving school.

Anwana's case has drawn attention from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, a network supporting African immigrants and deaf advocates.

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