Kathie Klages turns herself in to Michigan police

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Former Michigan State University head gymnastics coach Kathie Klages, who has been charged with lying to investigators regarding the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal,  has turned herself in to Lansing, Michigan police. She did so on Thursday.

In June, Klages reportedly denied that she had been told by any of the accusers of the 55-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State physician that he had sexually assaulted them. This was determined to be a lie, and as a result, she was charged with two counts of lying to a peace officer.

Former gymnast Larissa Boyce previously claimed that she reported Nassar’s sexual assault to Klages back in 1997 when she was 16 years old and training for the Michigan State youth gymnastics team.

Michigan State gymnast Lindsey Lemke has also claimed that she informed Klages of Nassar’s predatory behavior and that Klages failed to act on what she was told was going on.

Klages, who defended the 55-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State physician even after he was arrested in December of 2016, stepped down from her position at Michigan State in February of 2017 after two gymnasts filed lawsuits against Michigan State claiming that they had made her aware of Nassar’s sexual assault in 1997.

Here is what Special Independent Counsel Bill Forsyth had to say about the matter, according to The Detroit News.

“While investigating how Larry Nassar was able to get away with sexually assaulting hundreds of individuals on and off Michigan State’s campus, Klages denied to Michigan State Police detectives having been told prior to 2016 of Nassar’s sexual misconduct. Witnesses have said that they reported Nassar’s sexual abuse to Klages dating back more than 20 years.”

Klages is the fourth person overall and the first person from Michigan State’s athletic department to be charged in connection with the Nassar scandal, and she faces a four-year felony charge and a two-year misdemeanor charge.

That said, Klages’s lawyer, Mary Chartier, believes that her client will be cleared of these charges. Here is what she had to say about the matter, according to The Detroit News.

“Ms. Klages will plead not guilty, and we are confident that she will be cleared of these allegations.”

Nassar is set to spend the rest of his life in prison. He was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison back in December on three child pornography charges by U.S. District Judge Janet Neff.

Nassar was serving this prison sentence at United States Penitentiary, Tucson, a maximum-security federal prison in Tucson, Arizona, before his lawyers revealed that he was physically assaulted within hours of his release into the general population of the prison.

Weeks later, Nassar was transferred to the Federal Transfer Center, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and he was recently transferred to United States Penitentiary, Coleman II.

United States Penitentiary, Coleman II is a high-security federal prison for male inmates that is a part of the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex (FCC Coleman) and is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice. It is located in central Florida roughly 50 miles northwest of Orlando, 60 miles northeast of Tampa and 35 miles south of Ocala.

In January, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to between 40 and 175 years in state prison on seven sexual assault charges following a seven-day sentencing hearing in Ingham County, Michigan during which 169 victim impact statements were delivered in front of Nassar in court.

Of those 169 victim impact statements, 156 were delivered by people who have accused Nassar of sexual assault and the other 13 were delivered on the behalves of those who have accused him of sexual assault.

In February, Judge Janice Cunningham sentenced Nassar between an additional 40 and 125 more years in state prison on three more sexual assault charges following a three-day sentencing hearing in Eaton County, Michigan during which 65 victim impact statements were delivered in front of Nassar in court.

The father of three of Nassar’s accusers attempted to attack Nassar in court during this sentencing hearing.

In June, Nassar was charged with six counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child in stemming from the Károlyi Ranch investigation in Texas, but he was not issued any additional prison time as a result of these charges.

Nassar has been accused of sexually assaulting more than 330 individuals, many of whom female gymnasts, under the guise of medical treatment for more than two decades. Among those who have accused him of sexual assault are Olympic champion gymnasts Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Madison KocianMcKayla MaroneyAly RaismanKyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber.

 

-Asher Fair

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