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Ruling expected next week in ex-MSU president Simon's case

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

An Eaton County judge is expected to rule early next week on whether former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon will stand trial on charges that she lied to police about her knowledge of allegations against serial molester Larry Nassar.

Simon’s months-long preliminary examination concluded in July, but Judge Julie Reincke declined to rule from the bench that day. Instead, she allowed both sides several weeks to submit legal briefs outlining their arguments.

Former Michigan State University president Lou Anna K Simon is facing criminal charges for allegedly lying to police in the investigation into Dr. Larry Nassar.

Reincke’s written decision in the case is expected to be released early next week, said Beryl Frenger, Eaton County’s trial courts administrator.

Simon is charged with two felony and two misdemeanor counts of lying to a peace officer related to whether she knew the content of allegations made against Nassar in 2014. The felony charges carry up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office has alleged Simon was told at a 2014 meeting with Title IX coordinator Paulette Granberry-Russell that Nassar was the subject of a sexual assault complaint, but lied about the extent of her knowledge in a 2018 interview with police regarding the matter.

Prosecutors have alleged folders and meeting agendas from the 2014 discussion included handwritten notes that said “sexual assault cases"; “COM” for College of Medicine, and “Sports Med, Dr. Nassar, SA,” with “SA” standing for sexual assault.

In July, Simon’s attorney, Lee Silver, said the charges were a product of a “sloppy” investigation and said the case was “a witch hunt and terrible miscarriage of justice.”

Simon resigned from her position as president shortly after Nassar’s sentencing in Ingham County Circuit Court in January 2018 amid accusations that the university didn’t do enough to stop Nassar from molesting hundreds of young athletes throughout his career.

She retired from the university Aug. 31 after 45 years. She served as president from 2005-18.

Under the terms of her retirement, Simon maintained the titles of president emeritus and faculty emeritus and will receive three annual payments for a total gross amount of $2.45 million and other benefits.