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Former gymnastics coach latest person charged in Nassar sexual abuse scandal

Kathie Klages is accused of lying to an investigator in June.

Larry Nassar listens during his sentencing in February.
Larry Nassar listens during his sentencing in February.
Image: Cory Morse via PA Images

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY’S former head gymnastics coach has become the latest person to be charged in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal surrounding ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Kathie Klages is accused of lying to an investigator in June, when she denied that witnesses told her years ago about being sexually assaulted by Nassar. She was charged yesterday.

Numerous other people have been criminally charged, fired or forced out of their jobs amid the investigations into the once-renowned gymnastics doctor.

He was sentenced to decades in prison earlier this year after hundreds of girls and women said he sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment, including while he worked for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

A number of people from the university are among those who have been charged, ousted, opted to quit, taken leave or had ties cut:

Lou Anna Simon: The university president and school alumna resigned in January amid growing pressure from students, lawmakers and some members of the school’s governing board.

She acknowledged being “the focus of this anger” but has denied any cover-up by the university. The governing board later hired former Michigan Governor John Engler as its interim president. The school has already settled lawsuits totaling $500 million (about €432 million).

Mark Hollis: The athletic director and a Michigan State alumnus called his January departure a retirement, but he too had faced pressure to leave. Hollis had been on the job for 10 years. He said he made the choice because of “the scope of everything”, adding that he hoped his departure would help the “healing process”.

Kathie Klages: The former head gymnastics coach resigned last year after she was suspended for defending Nassar over the years. Klages was charged with lying to police amid the investigation. If convicted, she could face up to four years in prison.

She has denied allegations that former gymnast Larissa Boyce told her that Nassar had abused her in 1997, when Boyce was 16. Boyce has said Klages dissuaded her from taking the issue further, even after another young gymnast relayed similar allegations.

Brooke Lemmen: The former school doctor resigned last year after learning the university was considering firing her because she didn’t disclose that USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, was investigating Nassar.

William Strampel: The former dean of the university’s College of Osteopathic Medicine was charged in March amid allegations that he failed to keep Nassar in line, groped female students and stored nude student selfies on his campus computer.

Strampel, who has also been named in lawsuits, announced in December that he was taking a leave of absence for medical reasons. The school announced that month it planned to fire Strampel. He ended up retiring on 30 June.

He receives basic retiree health care coverage and got $175,000 (€151,000) — less money than he would have — while forfeiting emeritus status and other benefits typically accorded to retired executives. He is awaiting trial on the criminal charges.

Bob Noto: The university announced in February the departure of its longtime vice president for legal affairs. The school called it a retirement. Noto had been Michigan State’s general counsel since 1995. Trustee Brian Mosallam had sought Noto’s resignation.

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings. 

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Associated Press

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