Nassar case leads to charges against ex-MSU president

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WOOD) — In the same court where Larry Nassar was  sentenced, former Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon  was formally charged with lying to a peace officer investigating the  disgraced MSU sports doctor.

Simon remained tight-lipped Monday as  an Eaton County judge read the charges against her. The only two words  Simon uttered during the entire hearing were "I do" when the judge asked  her if she understood the nature of the charges and the possible  punishment they entail.

>>App users: Watch Simon's arraignment here.

She’s 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. 

In June, Simon testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee, saying she didn't know Nassar was  sexually abusing young women until a young gymnast filed a complaint in  2016. 

"Had I known, I would've taken immediate action to prevent  him from preying on additional survivors, including terminating his  employment and reporting him to police, as was done in 2016," she said.  

Simon denied any wrongdoing by the university.

In an earlier statement, the university said it was aware of the charges against Simon, who is still a professor, and that she was taking a leave of absence without pay as a result.

The  former MSU president 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. 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.

Simon resigned as president of MSU on Jan. 24, shortly after Nassar was sentenced 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.

The judge Monday set a $5,000 personal recognizance bond for Simon with conditions, including that she surrender her passport. 

Simon's next court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 18.

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