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Investigation Targets Michigan State's Response to Reports of Abuse by Team Doctor

FILE - Larry Nassar sits during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, Jan. 24, 2018.

The U.S. Department of Education has opened an investigation into Michigan State University's handling of reports of sexual abuse by disgraced former school doctor Larry Nassar.

Nassar served as the team doctor for USA Gymnastics and for several sports teams on MSU's campus. During his tenure, he sexually abused more than 260 young girls and women under the guise of medical treatment. He recently received three concurrent prison sentences — 60 years, 40 to 125 years and 40 to 175 years — for child sexual abuse and child pornography.

The Education Department is reviewing separate complaints about the school's compliance with Title IX, the law that requires schools to prevent and respond to reports of sexual violence, and compliance with requirements about providing campus crime and security information.

Several of Nassar's victims said they reported the abuse to MSU coaches and trainers over the course of two decades, but their accusations were continually disregarded or swept under the rug.

USA Gymnastics reported Nassar to the FBI in July 2015, but he continued to see patients at MSU until a newspaper exposed him in September 2016.

The New York Times reported that at least 40 more women and girls were molested during that time.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said investigators will look at "systemic issues'' with how the school has dealt with such complaints. In a statement, she called Nassar's actions "unimaginable.''

During Nassar's sentencing hearings earlier this year, 265 survivors and family members read impact statements in court.