At the beginning of 2018, Lou Anna K. Simon was one of the most powerful figures in Michigan education. Now the former president of Michigan State University is facing felony charges of lying to a peace officer.
Simon – who resigned as MSU president back in late January – is accused of lying to police about what she knew of Larry Nassar’s abuse of a patient in 2014 at the MSU Sports Medicine Clinic.
Simon recently made her first court appearance on the charges, listening intently as the judge read the allegations and informed her of her rights. She was then taken to be fingerprinted and booked.
According to a news report, Simon faces a maximum sentence of to up to four years and a fine of up to $5,000 on each of the felony charges. The two misdemeanor charges of lying to police include maximum sentences of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Prosecutors allege that Simon lied about what she knew of the Title IX complaint filed a medical student who reported that Nassar assaulted her in March of 2014. The woman said that Nassar groped her breasts and genitals during an exam.
Her complaint did not lead to criminal charges against the former USA Gymnastics national team doctor and osteopathic physician at MSU.
A Michigan State Police detective said Simon made “false and misleading” statements to officers when she said she was aware of the incident, but did not know the name of the accused MSU doctor. The detective said Simon had been briefed on the complaint just three days after the student was interviewed by a Title IX investigator.
Those facing similar white collar accusations should speak with an attorney experienced in criminal litigation before talking to a prosecutor.