Preliminary hearing held for former MSU President Lou Anna Simon Tuesday
EATON COUNTY, Mich. (FOX 2) - Former Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon appeared in court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.
She's accused of lying to police during the criminal investigation into Larry Nassar. The 71-year-old is facing four charges, two of which are felonies. The other two are misdemeanors.
"She lied to the media. She lied to the victims. She lied to congress," said Scott Teter, an Assistant Attorney General.
According to the Eaton County Prosecutor's Office, Simon told police she was not aware of allegations against the disgraced gymnastics doctor. But police claim there is documented proof she knew about his behavior back in 2014. Her attorney's say that many individuals lied, but not Simon and that the indictment is politically motivated.
"The amount of lying that has been done is overwhelming, but not by Lou Anna Simon," said her attorney,
During the hearing, Amanda Thomashow, a victim of Nassar's sexual abuse testified about her experience being assaulted. She also recalled telling the Title IX doctor about the assault, before the doctor ignored her plea.
However, Simon said she didn't know the nature of the account. Her attorney also argued that the Eaton County Prosecutor's Office was putting Simon on trial with the university, and that her testimony was irrelevant.
"It is really designed to garner sympathy," said Lee Silver, Simon's attorney.
Simon, a 40-year employee of the university, was president in 2014 when Nassar was suspended amid a school investigation that resulted in no findings. Simon, who attended one of the six days of testimony, said she was lied to and misled like everyone else.
Simon resigned as president at MSU on Jan. 24, 2018 - the same day Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in Ingham County for sexual abuse. Since then, MSU is on its second interim university president.
Its first choice, former governor John Engler resigned last month following criticism of some recent remarks, in which he told The Detroit News that Nassar's victims had been in the "spotlight" and are "still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition."
The school's board of trustees accepted his resignation and then appointed Dr. Satish Udpa as their new leader.