Ex-Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon Charged With Lying To Cops About Larry Nassar

Lou Anna Simon is the fourth MSU and/or USA Gymnastics official facing criminal charges related to covering up the sex abuse scandal.
Former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon pauses before testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 5, 2018.
Former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon pauses before testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 5, 2018.

Former Michigan State University president Lou Anna K. Simon was charged on Tuesday with lying to police about the sexual abuse investigation into former USA Gymnastics and MSU trainer Larry Nassar.

Simon, who resigned at the beginning of this year, was charged with two felony and two misdemeanor counts in Eaton County, Michigan, the Lansing State Journal reports. If convicted, she could spend up to four years in prison.

In May, investigators asked the former MSU president if she knew of any inquiry into Nassar before 2016. At the time, Simon said that she knew a sports medicine doctor had been the subject of a 2014 Title IX investigation, but claimed she did not know the identity of the physician. According to court documents, however, Simon allegedly knew the doctor in question was Nassar.  

Additionally, the charging documents accuse Simon of lying to investigators about her knowledge of the nature of the 2014 sex abuse investigation, The Associated Press reports

Simon resigned amid harsh criticism from Nassar survivors and advocates that she did not do enough to prevent Nassar from abusing hundreds of MSU athletes under the guise of medical treatment. Because Simon resigned and wasn’t fired, she continues to collect an annual salary and a plethora of benefits

MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said in a Tuesday statement that Simon’s pay will be suspended during this time.

“We are aware of the charges brought today against former President Lou Anna K. Simon,” Guerrant said. “She is taking an immediate leave of absence, without pay, to focus on her legal situation.”

Simon’s attorney Lee Silver responded to the charges in a statement to HuffPost. 

“I have not seen a shred of evidence to support these charges which I believe are completely baseless,” he said. “We are confident that when we have our day in court Dr. Simon will be exonerated and these charges will be proven to have no merit whatsoever.”

Simon is now the fourth person involved in the Nassar scandal to face criminal charges. Former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny, former MSU gymnastics coach Kathie Klages and former MSU dean of osteopathic medicine and Nassar’s former boss William Strampel all face criminal charges that relate to covering up Nassar’s abuse. 

Nassar is accused of sexually abusing hundreds of young athletes under the guise of medical treatment. He was sentenced to three concurrent prison sentences over the past year on child pornography and child sexual abuse charges. Nassar has appealed all three of his sentences, but those appeals have been denied.

Simon is scheduled to be arraigned in Eaton County Court on Nov. 26 at 10:30 a.m.

This article has been updated to include comment from Simon’s attorney.