The former women’s gymnastics coach at Michigan State University has been charged with two counts of lying to a peace officer in connection with the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.
The Detroit News reports that Kathie Klages is accused of falsely denying to Michigan State Police that she had been told prior to 2016 of Nassar’s sexual misconduct.
"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," Special Independent Counsel Bill Forsyth said. "Witnesses have said that they reported Nassar’s sexual abuse to Klages dating back more than 20 years."
Nassar, an ex-doctor who worked with gymnasts on the U.S. Olympics team and at Michigan State University, is serving a lengthy prison term for criminal sexual abuse. More than 300 women and girls say they were assaulted by Nassar.
Klages is among 14 MSU representatives who received reports about Nassar abuse over the two decades before his arrest. She was among the first to step down, in February 2017.
The resignation came after two former gymnasts sued the university and other institutions. Many of Nassar's survivors have said they might have been spared if Klages reported him years ago.
Klages is the fourth person to be charged in connection with the Nassar scandal. Beside Nassar, also indicted were William Strampel, Nassar’s ex-boss and former dean of the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Debbie Van Horn, a trainer who worked with Nassar and elite gymnasts at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas.
Nassar, 55, sexually abused and sexually assaulted dozens of girls and young women over a 20-year period.