EAST LANSING, Mich. – Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon was back in court Tuesday for her preliminary hearing on charges that she lied to police in May 2018 about her knowledge of Larry Nassar.
The defense motioned to exclude the testimony of Amanda Thomashow, the first person to file a Title IX complaint against Nassar after she was assaulted in 2014. In the end, the judge allowed Thomashow to be heard.
As both sides argued whether Thomashow should testify, merits of each case were also fair game.
"Why did the defendant lie?" asked Scott Teter, of the attorney general's office. "Because the defendant's legacy and MSU look bad. That means the defendant looks bad."
"It is clear he is trying to put MSU on trial for the way MSU treats sex assault," Simon's attorney, Lee Silver, said.
Simon's co-counsel, Meyer Morganroth, went a step further, accusing state and county prosecutors and a detective of lying to help cover up their mistakes in 2014.
"Today, what's going on is they're protecting the state of Michigan for its conduct, and the prosecutors for never going forward and doing something with Thomashow when it was referred to them by Michigan State Police and they said, 'Prosecute them,'" Morganroth said. "They said there was no merit."
Thomashow eventually testified and was the only witness. She recounted her entire ordeal to the repeated objection by defense counsel.
"I feel very strongly that her testimony is not relevant to these proceedings at all and really designed to garner sympathy, which she does deserve," Silver said.
Simon's preliminary hearing will continue April 8 and is expected to last a few more days.
Thomashow left Tuesday's hearing to go to Washington, where she's expected to be a guest of Congresswoman Haley Steves on Tuesday night for the State of the Union.