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Ex-MSU President Simon charged in Larry Nassar case

(WILX)
Published: Nov. 20, 2018 at 2:33 PM EST
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Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon has been officially charged in connection to the Larry Nassar investigation.

The Attorney General's Office is charging her with lying to a peace officer in a violent crime investigation, which is a four-year felony or $5,000. Also, two misdemeanor counts of lying to a peace officer that could result serving two years for a high court misdemeanor.

Simon was charged in an Eaton County District Court on Tuesday. She will be arraigned at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 26.

Lou Anna Simon's attorney, Mayer Morganroth, released this statement to News 10 in response to the charges: "The only crime committed was by the prosecution. This is strictly political, totally untrue. They will pay for it."

Another of her attorneys, Lee Silver, called the charges “completely baseless” and said he had not seen a “shred of evidence” to support them.

“In my opinion, the real crime here is that these charges are even being brought,” he said. “We are confident that when we have our day in court, Dr. Simon will be exonerated and these charges will be proven to have no merit.”

In January, students protested for Simon's resignation, stating their disapproval of her handling of the Larry Nassar case.

Simon did appear at one of Nassar's hearings for a few hours and listened to some of the victim statements. She delivered a statement about the case saying that she was watching via the live stream and was limited public comment during the sentencing.

Simon finally stepped down on Jan. 24 via a letter posted on Michigan State's website addressed to the members of the MSU Board of Trustees.

In the letter, she stated, "With tragedies like the Nassar case, blame is inevitable." She added that she understood why she was the focus of anger. "I have tried to make it not about me. I urge those who have supported my work to understand that I cannot make it about me now."

Nassar was previously an osteopathic sports physician at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics.

Attorney General Bill Schuette initiated his first charges against Nassar on Nov. 22, 2016, and the second round of charges occurred on Feb. 22, 2017.

Nassar was sentenced in January to 40 to 175 years in prison for seven counts of felony criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.

This was after seven days of victim impact statements presented in Judge Aquilina's Ingham County courtroom. Over 156 survivors presented their statements to court either in person, via video or having it read on their behalf.

On Tuesday, MSU provided the following statement on charges filed against Simon:

In Texas, former USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny was charged last month with tampering with evidence while a former sports medicine trainer, Debra Van Horn, was charged in June with “acting as a party” with Nassar in the sexual assault of a child.

View the felony warrant below the story.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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