Ex-Michigan State University president charged with lying to police, Nassar survivors 'relieved'

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter, Kayla Clarke

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Former Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon has been charged with lying to investigators during the Nassar probe at Michigan State University.

Simon has been charged with two felonies and two misdemeanor charges by the state attorney general.

Nassar survivors are speaking out, and some said it's about time.

Simon's handling of the Nassar investigation was deemed so poor she was drummed out of her job but still kept a plush retirement package, now she faces prison if she's convicted.

Michigan's attorney general Bill Schuette's legal team is charging Simon with lying to Michigan State Police investigators. Simon is accused of telling them she was not aware of the complaint that launched the 2014 Title IX investigation into Nassar and that she was only aware a sports medicine doctor was under investigation prior to 2016.

The attorney general said both those claims are false. Simon has been heavily criticized for deflecting blame from herself and other top administrators when the full scope of Nassar's abuse became apparent.

"Honestly, part of me is surprised that it actually happened. The other part of me is relieved, honestly, no one should be above the law," said survivor Larissa Boyce.

"What I think (of) today's news of Lou Anna Simon being charged, I think that shows that justice is still on it's way and is still coming; this shows Larry's enablers are not able to run and hide," said survivor Sterling Riethman.

Simon stepped down in January of this year when it became clear the MSU board of trustees had lost confidence in her and that she was going to be fired if she didn't resign.

Read: Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon's resignation letter

"The charges are ridiculous, untrue, political, and I tell you right now, the only crime committed is the charges against her," said Mayer Morganroth, who represents Simon. "The proper party will pay for what they have done."

Last November, Nassar pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting young athletes including some girls under the age of 13. He originally was charged with more than 20 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He admitted he sexually assaulted the girls for his own pleasure without any medical grounds.

He was also sentenced to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges, including receipt and attempted receipt of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and destruction and concealment of records and tangible objects.

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