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Court of Appeals upholds dismissal of charges against ex-MSU President

Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon appears at a Senate subcommittee hearing. The state appeals court upheld a lower court decision to dismiss charges against her related to the Larry Nassar scandal.
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Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon appears at a Senate subcommittee hearing. The state appeals court upheld a lower court decision to dismiss charges against her related to the Larry Nassar scandal.

The state Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court’s decision to throw out charges against former Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon.

Simon faced charges that she lied to police during the investigation into sexual abuse by former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

The charges were dismissed by a lower court for lack of evidence. The appelate court affirmed that decision.

Attorney John Manly, who represents some of Nassar’s survivors, said a jury should decide whether Simon was lying — not the Court of Appeals.

“The message this is sending, albeit unintentionally, perhaps, is that when powerful people at powerful institutions allow horrible things to happen to people, that we’re not going to hold them accountable,” Manly said.

The state attorney general’s office said it’s deciding whether to appeal the decision.

“The evidence presented against President Simon established probable cause for the crimes charged. The Department followed the evidence where it led. Any claim otherwise is unfounded,” a spokesperson for the attorney general said in a written statement.

“We are confident in the integrity of the charges against the defendant and are reviewing appellate options in our continued fight for the survivors,” the statement continued.

The Court of Appeals also overturned a conviction for former MSU gymnastics coach Kathie Klages this week.

She had also been charged with misleading investigators when she said she didn’t recall a past conversation where she allegedly learned of Nassar’s abuse in 1997.

Attorney Mary Chartier represents Klages. She said the trial turned into an attempt to hold her client accountassasable for Nassar’s crimes.

“Anyone who sat through the trial and was able to objectively look at the evidence against Mrs. Klages has to admit that the attorney general put forth absolutely no evidence that Mrs. Klages lied to the police,” Chartier said.

The attorney general’s office said it’s looking at appealing the Court of Appeals decision in the Klages case as well.

Copyright 2021 Michigan Radio

Colin Jackson | MPRN