Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon, who resigned from her position back in January, has been charged by the Michigan Attorney General’s office on two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of lying to police. From the Lansing State Journal:
Simon told State Police investigators that she was aware that in 2014 a sports medicine doctor was the subject of a Title IX investigation. According to the charging document filed by the AG’s Office, she knew it was Nassar who was the subject of that 2014 investigation.
Simon faced widespread pressure to resign before and during the January sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar, the former MSU doctor who sexually abused hundreds of women and girls, but initially, MSU’s board of trustees stood behind her. She finally stepped down hours after Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexual abuse, following a hearing during which many of Nassar’s victims had harsh words for those at MSU who had enabled him. Simon was aware of allegations against Nassar years before he was actually arrested, but she had maintained she was unaware that parallel Title IX and MSU police investigations against Nassar in 2014 were specifically about him.
Simon, who became President in 2005, continues to be a tenured professor at MSU, and, according to her contract, has been entitled to her full salary of $750,000 for a full year of “research leave” following her resignation. Interim MSU President John Engler said in a statement that Simon is taking “an immediate leave of absence, without pay, to focus on her legal situation.”
Simon is the third person charged by the Michigan AG’s office in their investigation of Michigan State, after Nassar’s former boss, William Strampel, and former gymnastics coach Kathie Klages. If convicted, the charges against Simon carry a maximum penalty of four years in prison.