Lou Anna Simon is the former president of Michigan State University. On November 20, she was charged with lying to police about the Larry Nassar investigation, The Lansing State Journal reported.
Simon, the third person to be charged with lying in the Title IX investigation into sexual abuse allegations against, who was accused of abusing hundreds of girls and women at the university and in his role as the doctor for the United States gymnastics team.
Simon was charged with lying to state police that she did not know Nassar was the subject of the 2014 Title IX investigation.
Simon stepped down as president after Nassar was sentenced to decades in prison.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Lou Anna Simon Faces 4 Years in Prison
Simon was charged with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts, The Lansing State Journal reported. She faces up to four years in prison if convicted on all charges.
The state attorney general’s office said that investigators interview over 500 people, including “all Nassar survivors that wanted to be interviewed, as well as MSU faculty and staff, coaches, and members of the community.”
During her testimony to a US Senate subcommittee in June, Simon also claimed that no one at the university was aware of Nassar’s abuse before 2016. “Had I known that Nassar was sexually abusing young women, I would have taken immediate action to prevent him from preying on additional victims, including terminating his employment and reporting him to the police,” she said at the time.
2. Lou Anna Simon Stepped Down in January
Simon stepped down as president of the university just hours after Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexual abuse, The Lansing State Journal reported.
Her resignation came after the school’s trustees began to call for her resignation. The MSU Faculty Senate held a vote of no confidence in Simon the day before she stepped down.
The Lansing State Journal reports that Simon is still a tenured professor at MSU. Her contract included up to a year of research leave after her resignation, during which time she is entitled to 100 percent of her base salary as president: $750,000. She can return to the faculty at her presidential salary for the first year and is entitled to 75 percent of the salary in subsequent years.
3. Two Other MSU Officials Charged in Larry Nassar Probe
William Strampel, who was the dean of osteopathy medicine at the university, was charged with an unrelated felony as well as two misdemeanor charges for his actions during the 2014 Title IX investigation of Nassar, The Lansing State Journal reported.
Strampel is charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty related to his actions in the Nassar probe, as well as his own sexual assault and felony misconduct charges, The Lansing State Journal previously reported. The state’s attorney general accused him of using his position to “harass, discriminate, demean, sexually proposition, and sexually assault female students.” He faces up to five years in prison.
In August, former MSU gymnastics coach Kathie Klages was charged with a felony and a misdemeanor for lying to police about her knowledge of the sexual abuse complaints against Nassar before 2016. Klages stepped down from her position after two women said she discouraged them from reporting abuse allegations against Nassar.
Both Strampel and Klages are awaiting trial in Ingham County Circuit Court.
4. Larry Nassar Was Accused of Sexually Abusing Hundreds While at MSU
Nassar, 55, was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of girls. He is serving a 60-year federal sentence for three child pornography charges. He was sentenced to more than 40 years in prison on 10 sexual assault convictions in state court, The Lansing State Journal reported.
Dozens of his accusers testified at his trial. Nearly all of them said that Nassar sexually abused them in his office under the guise of treatment, The Indy Star reported. Nassar pleaded guilty to sexual assault at the trial. He also pleaded guilty to child pornography charges after federal investigators said he had at least 37,000 videos and images of child pornography.
Nassar joined the USA Gymnastics team as an athletic trainer in 1986. He received an osteopathic medicine degree from MSU in 1993 and was later appointed the national medical coordinator for USA Gymnastics and the team physician at MSU.
He was fired in September 2016 from the school and in 2015 from the USA Gymnastics team.
5. Lou Anna Simon Was One of the Highest-Paid University Presidents Before Scandal
The Detroit Free Press reported that Simon was one of the highest paid public university presidents in the country the year before she resigned. She earned $857,024 in 2017, ranking her among the 15 highest-paid university presidents in the country. It was her third straight year as the highest-paid public university president in the state.
Simon was due for a $150,000 pay increase but turned it down in December of 2017 amid backlash from survivors of Nassar’s abuse. She asked the board to use the money to fund scholarships instead.
In 2017, she earned a base salary of $750,000 along with $100,000 in bonuses and $7,024 in non-taxable pay.
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