The former gymnastics coach at Michigan State has been charged with lying to police during the Larry Nassar investigation.
Kathie Klages was charged with felony and misdemeanors on Thursday and now faces up to four years behind bars if convicted.
The charges were announced by special independent counsel Bill Forsyth, who was appointed by the state attorney general to investigate the university.
‘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,’ he said in a statement.
Kathie Klages was charged with felony and misdemeanors on Thursday and now faces up to four years behind bars if convicted. She denied ever being told by gymnasts that pedophile doctor Larry Nassar was abusing them in the 1990s
Klages has denied allegations that former gymnast Larissa Boyce told her that Nassar had abused her in 1997, when Boyce was 16.
Boyce had been training with the Spartan youth gymnastics team at the time. Boyce has said Klages dissuaded her from taking the issue further, even after another young gymnast relayed similar allegations.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Klages has a criminal defense lawyer. A message seeking comment Thursday was left with attorneys defending her in civil lawsuits.
Among Nassar’s victims who confided in the coach is Larissa Boyce, seen above testifying at his trial in January. She told Klages that she had been abused in the 1990s when she was 16
Hundreds of girls and women have said they were abused by Nassar under the guise of medical treatment, including while Nassar worked at Michigan State and Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains U.S. Olympians.
Klages, who resigned in 2017 after she was suspended for defending the now-imprisoned Nassar, is the third person other than Nassar to face criminal charges as a result of the investigations.
The former dean of the university’s medical school also was charged and later retired amid the investigation.
Nassar, 55, will be locked up for the rest of his life under criminal sentences imposed after he was convicted of molesting athletes and possessing child pornography. He is at a federal prison in Oklahoma.
Investigators said the crimes were mostly committed in Michigan at a campus clinic, area gyms and his Lansing-area home. Accusers also said he molested them at a gymnastics-training ranch in Texas, where Nassar also faces charges, and at national and international competitions.
Michigan State softball, volleyball, and track and field athletes have also said they told a coach and trainers about Nassar’s inappropriate behavior.
Brooke Lemmen, who worked with Nassar and viewed him as a ‘mentor’ was also investigated.