Former Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon is set to stand trial over allegations that she lied about matters related to the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.
Prosecutors say Simon wasn’t honest about who she knew about Nassar’s crimes and when she knew it. They also contend that had Simon come forward with what she knew sooner, some of Nassar’s crimes could have been prevented.
Officially Simon was charged with lying to police officers, misconduct in office and impeding a criminal investigation.
For her part, Simon’s defense team contends that she never lied but rather was at fault for not remembering, which isn’t a crime.
According to Click On Detroit, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office is leaning on a hand written note on an agenda folder with Nassar’s name on it, saying it is proof of what Simon knew.
"If the defendant didn't know, why did she write it under the section for sexual assault cases?" the prosecution asked.
"There is nothing more than speculation," the defense said. "That's the whole prosecution's case."
Simon’s defense team is arguing that even if she made a false statement, it was completely unintended.
News of Simon's trial comes as MSU trustee Nancy Schlichting resigned this week, saying the school hadn't investigated the Nassar scandal sufficiently.
In a letter to the Gov. Gretchen Whitmer dated Saturday that as reported on by the Detroit ABC affiliate, Schlichting said she "did not come to this decision easily," and that she fully supports new President Samuel Stanley.
"I joined the Board to provide expertise from my long career leading complex healthcare organizations, and my extensive governance experience serving on more than 80 boards. More importantly, I joined the Board to help change the attitudes and beliefs of the legacy Board members towards the extraordinary young women who have survived sexual assault by Larry Nassar, and to support the survivors in every way I could," she said.
Larry Nassar is serving a life sentence for possessing child pornography and for molesting hundreds of young student-athletes at Michigan State, sometimes when parents were present. He also worked at USA Gymnastics.