- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 24, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) - The Latest on Michigan State University ties to a Chicago-area coach accused of sexual abuse (all times local):

1:00 p.m.

A lawyer for a prominent Chicago-area volleyball coach accused of raping six underage girls he trained says his client has never sexually abused anyone and that he isn’t affiliated with Michigan State University.

Danielle D’Ambrose says in a statement that the allegations against Rick Butler are “absolutely false.”

Three women publicly accused him in 1995 of raping them in the 1980s. A 1995 report from an Illinois state agency found no evidence to support Butler’s contention that the women were lying.

Letters obtained by The Associated Press reveal that Michigan State has been under pressure to sever any ties to Butler. The university recruited players he trained and played exhibition games at his suburban Chicago facilities. Other colleges have done the same.

The statement issued Tuesday says Butler has “no affiliation” with the school. Michigan State similarly says Butler isn’t affiliated with the university.

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12:01 a.m.

Michigan State University has maintained ties to a prominent volleyball coach for decades after he was publicly accused in 1995 of sexually abusing and raping six underage girls he trained.

Letters obtained by The Associated Press from accusers’ advocates reveal the school has been pressured for at least a year to sever its relationship with Rick Butler.

Butler runs suburban Chicago training facilities that have been a pipeline for top recruits, including to MSU.

MSU has been reeling from the scandal involving a gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar, who molested young athletes.

The university said in a Monday statement that Butler is currently “not affiliated with MSU.” But it didn’t address other questions put to it, including when any affiliation might have ended.

Butler was never criminally charged. He denies sexually abusing anyone.


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