Ex-MSU gymnastics coach Klages to turn herself in to police on Thursday

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News
Kathie Klages

The former Michigan State University women’s gymnastics coach who's been charged in connection with the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal will turn herself in to Lansing police on Thursday and be arraigned afterward, the Michigan Attorney General's Office said Tuesday.

Special Independent Counsel Bill Forsyth announced last week that Kathie Klages has been charged with two counts of lying to a peace officer, alleging she falsely denied to Michigan State Police detectives that she had been told prior to 2016 of Nassar’s sexual misconduct.

Some women have said that they reported Nassar’s sexual abuse to Klages decades ago, including Larissa Boyce, who said she told Klages about Nassar in 1997 when she was a 16-year-old gymnast. Boyce said Klages didn't believe her.

At the time, Klages brought several of Boyce’s fellow youth program gymnasts into her office and asked them if Nassar did the same to them. One of them, who was 14 at the time, said he had. 

Klages is the fourth person to be charged in connection with the Nassar scandal, and the first from MSU's athletic department. 

The charges are a four-year felony and a two-year misdemeanor.

Klages was supposed to turn herself in by the end of the week but lives out of state, according Andrea Bitely, spokeswoman for the attorney general.

For months, Klages was represented by civil attorney Steven F. Stapleton. But she is now represented by Lansing-based criminal lawyer Mary Chartier.

"Ms. Klages will plead not guilty, and we are confident that she will be cleared of these allegations," Chartier wrote via email.

Klages was one of 14 MSU representatives who received reports about Nassar abuse over the two decades before his arrest, according to a Detroit News investigation.

She was among the first to step down, in February 2017, after two former gymnasts filed lawsuits against MSU and other institutions, saying they had told Klages about Nassar 20 years earlier.