Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon will stand trial for allegedly lying to police about how much she knew about disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar.
A judge on Monday found probable cause to send Simon, 72, to trial on two felony and two misdemeanor counts of giving false statements to investigators in May 2018, claiming that she knew a university sports doctor was “under review” but knew “nothing of substance” about the allegations, the Detroit News reports.
But police and prosecutors insist Simon — MSU’s president from 2005 until she resigned last year – did know that Nassar was the subject of the 2014 complaints, citing file folders and agendas from a meeting that year with the school’s Title IX coordinator.
Some handwritten notes from that meeting including “sexual assault cases” and “Sports Med, Dr. Nassar, SA,” an abbreviation for sexual assault, the newspaper reports.
Eaton County Judge Julia Reincke said in a written opinion that it’s “not credible” that Simon, 72, forgot the details of the first allegations of sexual abuse against Nassar received by MSU in May 2014, describing her as an authoritative and responsible president who “paid attention to detail.”
An attorney for Simon – one of at least 14 MSU employees who were warned about Nassar’s despicable conduct, said he was disappointed by the ruling, citing a “complete lack of evidence” to back up the accusations, according to the Detroit News.
“We remain confident that we will ultimately prevail and that Lou Anna Simon will be fully acquitted of these charges,” attorney Lee Silver said.
Simon has maintained she didn’t learn about the nature of the complaint until 2016, according to the Lansing State Journal.
If convicted, Simon faces up to four years in prison. She announced her resignation in January 2018 after 45 years at Michigan State in the wake of Nassar being sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting young girls and women at Michigan State and a gymnastics club in Lansing.
“To the survivors, I can never say enough that I am so sorry that a trusted, renowned physician was really such an evil, evil person who inflicted such harm under the guise of medical treatment,” Simon wrote.
With Post wires
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