A former Michigan State University gymnastics coach has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for lying to police during sexual abuse investigations into former university and Team USA doctor Larry Nassar.
USA TODAY reported Tuesday that Kathie Klages, who was convicted in February, was sentenced this week to 90 days in jail and 18 months probation. The 65-year-old Klages, who faced up to four years in prison, had stood by Nassar, who was sentenced to 60 years in 2017 after pleading guilty to child pornography charges and sentenced to 175 years in 2018 after pleading guilty to seven counts of sexual assault of minors.
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Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk sentenced Klages after hearing from two victims — Larissa Boyce and an anonymous friend — who said they told Klages about Nassar’s abuse while they were teenage gymnasts in 1997.
"She questioned me like I was already in trouble and instead of offering me advice or protection, she offered me a cold answer," the anonymous gymnast testified during her victim impact statement, according to USA TODAY. "That answer caused devastation on my entire life."
Draganchuk said that Klages derailed an investigation and retraumatized two victims of sexual assault.
"That emotional impact is far greater and far more serious than the thwarting of a police investigation," Draganchuk said.
"I truly had prayed and hoped that Kathie would own up to her mistake of believing a pedophile over two children 23 years ago, but that did not happen," Boyce said.
According to ESPN, Klages told police in June 2018 that she had no memory of gymnastics complaining about Nassar. She maintained that story when she testified in February, saying she trusted Nassar and allowed her own children and granddaughter to visit him until after his 2016 arrest.
Klages apologized during the hearing, reiterating that she doesn’t remember the conversation and that Nassar had her “completely fooled.”
"I think an innocent woman was sentenced to jail today," defense lawyer Mary Chartier said. "She’s a strong woman. She’ll certainly be able to survive this."
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