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Thursday, February 01, 2018

State-created danger in the Nassar case?

Two stories from Deadspin describe the mistakes by the police department in Meridian, Michigan, who received a sexual-abuse complaint against Larry Nassar in 2004, but dropped it (without referring it to prosecutors). Apparently, detectives were convinced by a PowerPoint presentation from Nassar about how what he was doing was a legitimate medical procedure to deal with Scoliosis. No one in the police department conferred with a medical expert to confirm what Nassar told them.

So, could one of Nassar's post-2004 victims make out a due process claim against the Meridian PD and these detectives? Perhaps on a state-created danger, that the police increased the danger to other athletes by not doing a competent investigation and perhaps implicitly suggesting to Nassar that he can get away with this. Or perhaps on an equal protection theory, that they did an incompetent investigation because they did not take sexual-assault against teenage girls seriously.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on February 1, 2018 at 06:49 PM in Civil Procedure, Constitutional thoughts, Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics, Sports | Permalink

Comments

Courts (notably the 2d Circuit) have found that inaction can constitute affirmative, if implicit, encouragement, at least in some circumstances--inaction signals that a person can act with impunity, increasing the danger to others. I don't know that it will work here (the issue here may be less the encouragement and more that there is no indication the officers were deliberately indifferent).

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Feb 8, 2018 12:19:44 AM

" Perhaps on a state-created danger, that the police increased the danger to other athletes by not doing a competent investigation and perhaps implicitly suggesting to Nassar that he can get away with this. "

How is that state-created danger, as opposed to the state not doing anything about the pre-existing danger? I think the doctrine is quite clear that if a state where to announce that all crimes against persons must be pursued in private prosecutions, without help from police and public prosecutor, then it would be constitutional. How can merely doing a bad job of investigating the case be unconstitutional when the state could adopt a principle of never investigating assault or abuse cases if it wanted to?

Posted by: Jr | Feb 7, 2018 7:20:39 AM

The point is , that they didn't really need necessarily an expert , that technique is called : " Sacrotuberous Ligament Release " and simple search in Google , could provide more corroboration about those suspicions it seems . But it seems they hadn't bothered too much . The point may be the causation in court . Surly one can claim negligence it seems , yet , negligence doesn't imply necessarily causation , means , direct link the tort and damage. When it comes to state officials , there is also the issue of available resources and reasonableness . This can be , hell of one …… I wish those miserable girls the best …
Thanks

Posted by: El roam | Feb 1, 2018 7:30:15 PM

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