Former Michigan State president charged with lying in Larry Nassar investigation

The next shoe, and it’s a big one, dropped at Michigan State University Tuesday when Lou Anna K. Simon, the school’s former president, was charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors in relation to the Larry Nassar scandal.

Simon is accused of not detailing to police that she knew Nassar specifically was the subject of a 2014 Title IX investigation. She told police she knew about a “sports medical doc” being “subject to a review” but did not reveal that she knew exactly who it was or that it involved a Title IX investigation into abusing a patient.

“When asked about whether she was aware of any investigation involving Larry Nassar prior to 2016, she falsely or misleadingly said that ‘I was aware that in 2014 there was a sports medicine doc who was subject to a review’ when in fact she knew it was Larry Nassar who was the subject of the 2014 MSU Title IX investigation,” the arrest warrant reads.

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Former Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon
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Former Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon
FILE - In this June 5, 2018 file photo, former Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon testifies before a Senate subcommittee in Washington. Simon has been charged with lying to police conducting an investigation of Larry Nassar's sexual abuse. Simon, who stepped down earlier this year over the scandal, was charged Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, with two felonies and two misdemeanors. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon pauses before testifying during a Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 5, 2018. The hearing is on "Preventing Abuse in Olympic and Amateur Athletics: Ensuring a Safe and Secure Environment for Our Athletes." (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Lou Anna K. Simon headshot, president of Michigan State University, graphic element on gray
In this Oct. 20, 2017, photo, Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon speaks during the dedication ceremony for the Gilbert Pavilion and Tom Izzo Hall of History inside Michigan State's Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing, Mich. Simon submitted her resignation Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, amid an outcry over the school's handling of allegations against Larry Nassar. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)
In this Oct. 20, 2017, photo, Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon listens during the dedication ceremony for the Gilbert Pavilion and Tom Izzo Hall of History inside Michigan State's Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing, Mich. At left is Brian Breslin, of the university's Board of Trustees. Simon submitted her resignation Wednesday amid an outcry over the school's handling of allegations against Larry Nassar. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon speaks during the dedication ceremony for the Gilbert Pavilion and Tom Izzo Hall of History inside Michigan State's Breslin Student Events Center, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon is shown during an NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 05: Lou Anna Simon, former president of Michigan State University, testifies during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing, on June 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. The hearing focused on preventing abuse in Olympic and amateur athletes and ensuring a safe and secure environment for athletes. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 05: (L-R), Rhonda Faehn, former director of the USA Gymnastics Women's Program, Steve Penny, former president of USA Gymnastics, and Lou Anna Simon, former president of Michigan State University, appear before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, on June 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. The hearing focused on preventing abuse in Olympic and amateur athletics and ensuring a safe and secure environment for athletes. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Lou Anna Simon, president of Michigan State University, speaks during the Michigan CEO Summit in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. More than 400 of the state's top business and community executives will gather for the annual event. Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Simon, 71, faces up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted. Her lawyer has not issued a comment yet.

It is an astounding fall from grace for Simon, who became MSU’s first female president in 2005 and was widely credited for doing an excellent job running and growing the university. She resigned earlier this year after significant criticism of her handling of the Nassar case, especially the aftermath.

Nassar is a former MSU doctor who sexually assaulted hundreds of his patients, both at his office inside the College of Osteopathic Medicine and his work with USA Gymnastics. He is currently serving a federal prison sentence on child pornography charges and faces hundreds of years in state prison.

His sentencing hearing last January drew some 150 victim impact statements and became a powerful statement for survivors of sexual assault. Simon was criticized for not attending the first day of the sentencing and later only made a brief appearance. She resigned soon after.

She joins Dean Strampel, Nassar’s former boss in being charged in the case.

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Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics doctor, in court
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Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics doctor, in court
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, stands during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, stands with his legal team during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, stands with his legal team during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Prosecutor Angela Povilaitis speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar,a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, listens as Prosecutor Angela Povilaitis speaks at his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 16: Larry Nassar listens to victim impact statements prior to being sentenced after being accused of molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 16, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Victim and former gymnast Aly Raisman speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, (L) a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, sits in the courtroom during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, arrives in the courtroom during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 17: Larry Nassar appears in court to listen to victim impact statements during his sentencing hearing after being accused of molesting more than 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 17, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 17: Larry Nassar listens to victim impact statements during his sentencing hearing after being accused of molesting more than 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 17, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 16: Larry Nassar listens to victim impact statements prior to being sentenced after being accused of molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 16, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 16: Larry Nassar listens to victim impact statements prior to being sentenced after being accused of molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 16, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 16: Larry Nassar appears in court to listen to victim impact statements prior to being sentenced after being accused of molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 16, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LANSING, MI - JANUARY 16: Larry Nassar appears in court to listen to victim impact statements prior to being sentenced after being accused of molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 16, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Nassar has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Michigan, to sexually assaulting seven girls, but the judge is allowing all his accusers to speak. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for possession of child pornography. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is seen in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Asst. Michigan Attorney General Angela M. Povilaitis (L) speaks during the hearing of former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar listen with (2nd R) defense attorneys Shannon Smith (2nd L) and Matt Newberg (R) in 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar watches a video his interview with the police in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar (C) with defense attorneys Shannon Smith (L) and Matt Newberg (R) in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is seen in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is seen in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is seen in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is seen in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is seen in the 55th District Court where Judge Donald Allen Jr. bound him over on June 23, 2017 in Mason, Michigan to stand trial on 12 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF KOWALSKY (Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
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Simon is still a tenured professor in MSU’s Department of Education and making $750,000 per year.

This case centers around a 2014 complaint by Amanda Thomashow, who was referred to Nassar due to hip pain. On her first visit, she says he sexually assaulted her. She filed a complaint with the MSU police department two months later and a Title IX investigation resulted.

However, Nassar was allowed to continue treating, and abusing, patients into 2017.

Michigan State has been criticized for not acting more aggressively, and numerous law enforcement and investigative bodies have been accused of failing to communicate properly.

Simon has steadfastly claimed that had she understood the scope of Nassar’s actions she would have stopped it.

Now, however, she is facing her own legal issues, exactly one year after Nassar plead guilty for his actions in Ingham County Court.

For Michigan State, this is the highest ranking official to be charged. Whether it will be the last remains to be seen.

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