Ex-MSU president Simon charged with lying in Nassar case

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WOOD) — Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon has been charged with lying to police in connection to the Larry Nassar investigation.

A copy of the felony warrant filed in an Eaton County court shows Simon is charged with four counts of lying to a peace officer during a violent crime investigation in connection to the 2014 Title IX investigation sparked by sex assault allegations against Nassar.

Two of the charges are felonies that carrying a sentence of up to four years in prison. The remaining charges are high court misdemeanors punishable by up to two years in prison.

The warrant indicates Simon knew more about the circumstances surrounding the Title IX investigation than she told detectives. 

The warrant states Simon falsely told investigators she wasn't aware of the nature of the complaint that sparked the investigation. The court document also states when investigators asked Simon if she was aware of any investigation involving Nassar before 2016, she falsely or misleadingly said she was aware "a sports medicine doc" was being reviewed in 2014. The warrant says she knew it was Nassar. 

Simon is the third person from the university to be charged in connection to the Nassar investigation.

Former MSU gymnastics coach Kathie Klages is also charged with lying to police. She's accused of denying that female gymnasts had ever complained of assaults by Nassar. Authorities said two teens complained to her back in 1997.

William Strampel, who once served as dean of osteopathic medicine at MSU, was charged with two misdemeanors for how he handled the 2014 Title IX investigation of the disgraced sports doctor. He’s also facing charges for allegedly groping and harassing female students, soliciting nude photos from female students and stockpiling porn on his university computer.

Simon resigned as president of MSU on Jan. 24, shortly after Nassar was sentenced in an Ingham County court to 40-175 years in prison for sex assaults. That's in addition to the 60-year sentence he already received for federal child pornography charges.

In her resignation letter, Simon apologized to the survivors of Nassar However, Simon remained a tenured professor with the promise of an office in a newly renovated campus building.

The Detroit News also reported that Simon's contract says she could earn her full $750,000 presidential salary during a one-year research leave and the following year as a faculty member. In subsequent years, she can earn 75 percent of that amount.

Shortly after news of the charges against Simon came out, Nassar survivor Morgan McCaul issued the following statement:

"Lou Anna K. Simon was the leader of a Michigan State University that protected countless sexual predators, including Larry Nassar and William Strampel. She was the ultimate enabler of sexual violence on campus, lying at every turn to both the Michigan Attorney General’s office and to Senate leaders. In January, I asked Judge Aquilina to impose a sentence on Nassar that would send an unmistakable message to those who look the other way to protect their green-and-white. This charge marks an important moment for every person who has been victimized at Michigan State University; it is yet another incremental step towards collective justice."

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