Judge sides with Klages in hearing, denies AG's request

Published: Jan. 9, 2019 at 4:54 PM EST
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What's more important, the defendant's right to a fair trial or a sex-assault victim's right to privacy?

That question is at the center of the case against former Michigan State University gymnastics coach Kathie Klages.

The issue here is the Attorney General's office wants to redact personal identifying information from documents that are given to Klages.

She's charged with lying to police in the Larry Nassar investigation.

On Wednesday, her lawyer said prosecutors are being tougher on Klages than him.

"The individual pretty much is at the core of this investigation, Larry Nassar, did not have a similar type of protective order," said Mary Chartier, attorney for Klages.

That protection order requested by the Attorney General's office would force Klages' attorney to file documents under seal and would have names and other information redacted from documents she's requested to help with her defense.

"I don't think the AG's is operating in good faith here when they seek to impose significant restrictions on us," said Chartier.

The AG's office said it's just trying to protect Nassar's victims and others involved in the case.

"I suggest that personal identifying information is valuable to an individual that commits financial crimes. I think it's incumbent on all of us to protect that personal identifying information of the 600-plus witnesses we are prepared to turn over interviews of," said First Assistant Attorney General William Rollstin.

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk ruled in favor of Klages, saying the restrictions the state was asking for are too broad.

"It goes too far in practically every other respect, there just has been no justification offered for the level of restriction that has been proposed," said Draganchuk.

The AG's office told the judge it will get the documents to Klages' attorney by early next week. No trial date has been set. There will be a status conference in early February. We'll let you know what happens then.

Klages is one of three current and former MSU employees charged in the Nassar investigation.

Former MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon is accused of lying to police, and the former dean of the college of osteopathic medicine, William Strampel, faces misconduct charges.

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