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Lansing — Opening statements are scheduled Tuesday in the trial of Kathie Klages, a former Michigan State University gymnastics coach who's accused of lying to police about what she knew about the crimes of sex abuser Larry Nassar.

Klages' trial got underway Monday with the seating of a jury in Ingham County Circuit Court. She could be sentenced to as much as four years in prison if she's convicted of lying to David Dwyre, an investigator with the Michigan Attorney General's Office, about whether she had knowledge of Nassar’s sexual assaults before 2016.

Two women, who were minors at the time of their assaults, reportedly told Klages about their experiences with Nassar in 1997. The women accused Klages of being dismissive when they informed her. 

Klages' attorney, Mary Chartier, has said Klages was being truthful when she told Dwyre that she did not remember the alleged reports from more than two decades ago. 

Among a decent-sized list of witnesses to be called during the trial are Dwyre, Mary Sclabassi, who interviewed Klages with Dwyre, and Larissa Boyce, who said she told Klages in 1997 about Nassar abusing her by penetrating her without gloves.

Klages and the rest of her defense team have submitted a number of motions leading up to the trial, such as asking to dismiss the felony charge and suppress the recordings from Klages' police interview in 2018, all of which was denied by Draganchuk.

More recently, Chartier asked Draganchuk to reconsider the ban on testimony from a memory expert. Draganchuk upheld the ban, and the Michigan Court of Appeals declined to consider the matter.  

The charges against Klages are part of the attorney general's ongoing investigation into what happened at the state's largest university that allowed Nassar, a former doctor, to sexually abuse scores of young women for so long.

She is the fourth person to be charged in connection with the Nassar scandal and the first from MSU's athletic department. A Detroit News investigation found Klages was one of at least 14 MSU representatives who received reports of Nassar's conduct over two decades.

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