LANSING, Mich. – Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon returned to court Tuesday as closing arguments were heard to help determine whether she would go to trial on charges connected to the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.
The preliminary hearing has been ongoing for months. On Tuesday, the defense made its closing argument for more than 90 minutes. The prosecution took nearly a half-hour. The judge delayed a decision on whether Simon would go to trial.
The case revolves around allegations that Simon wasn't honest with investigators about how much she knew and when she knew about abuse allegations against Nassar, who served as a sports doctor for the MSU Athletic Department at the time.
Prosecutors say Simon knowingly lied about what she knew. They claim if she had told the truth, Nassar could have been stopped sooner.
Simon is charged with lying to police officers, misconduct in office and impeding a criminal investigation.
The defense argues it's not an issue of lying, but an issue of remembering, which isn't a crime.
The Michigan Attorney General's Office points to a handwritten note on an agenda folder with Nassar's name on it, saying it proves Simon knew what Nassar was accused of doing.
Simon has always said she knew a sports medicine doctor was involved, but didn't know it was Nassar.
"If the defendant didn't know, why did she write it under the section for sexual assault cases?" the prosecution asked.
"There is nothing more than speculation," the defense said. "That's the whole prosecution's case."
The AG's office laid out what it believes are possible motives, such as Simon trying to protect her reputation, avoid civil liability and avoid losing funding.
But the defense says even if Simon made a false statement, it was only a mistake.