CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WLNS/WOOD) — Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon will stand trial on charges of lying to police in their investigation into the school’s handling of the Larry Nassar case.
Judge Julie Reincke’s decision (PDF) was released Monday afternoon. She heard seven days’ worth of testimony spread out over five months before determining there was enough evidence to send the case to trial.
Simon is charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors for allegedly lying to police as they investigated Nassar. She told police she knew a sports medicine doctor was under investigation in 2014, but did not know it was Nassar specifically. Prosecutors say that was a lie.
“I do find that these crimes have been committed and that there is probable cause that Lou Anna K. Simon committed them,” Reincke wrote.
She ruled Simon’s knowledge could be inferred by MSU Title IX investigator Kristine Moore and Simon’s former executive assistant Paulette Granberry-Russell’s “treatment of the allegations as an emergency of which defendant needed to be notified. The allegations, the ‘nature of the complaint’ are extraordinary, are ‘shocking’ as Moore stated. They would not be easily forgotten.”
Simon’s attorney, Lee Silver, issued the following statement to WLNS, WOOD TV8’s Lansing sister station, on Simon being bound over for trial:
“While we respect the District Court’s decision, we are disappointed by the District Court’s ruling in light of the stark lack of evidence to support the charges against Lou Anna Simon. We plan to vigorously defend Dr. Simon and fully expect to prevail in the Circuit Court.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessell issued a statement Monday on Reinke’s decision for Simon in court.
“Today’s decision to move forward with trial brings survivors another step closer to receiving the answers they deserve. After months of preliminary examination and thoughtful consideration by Judge Julie Reinke, we are ready to bring the facts to a jury of Ms. Simon’s peers.”
Simon’s next court date is scheduled for December 12.
Also Monday, news broke that MSU Trustee Nancy Schlichting was resigning over the board’s failure to launch an internal investigation regarding the Nassar case.
Nassar was ultimately sentenced to long prison terms on federal child pornography and state-level sexual assault charges after hundreds of women came forward to say he molested them under the guise of providing medical care.