Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon returns to court for a preliminary hearing in Eaton County, Michigan. Prosecutors said she lied to police about previously not knowing that disgraced doctor Larry Nassar was being investigated for committing sexual abuse.
“I was aware that in 2014 there was a sports medicine doc who was subject to a review. But I was not aware of any of the substance of that review,” she allegedly said, according to the police affidavit. “The nature of the complaint, that was all learned in ’16.”
Police said that’s a lie. Student Amanda Thomashow said Nassar–then a doctor for MSU and USA Gymnastics–sexually abused her during what was supposed to be a medical procedure for hip pain. She filed a complaint in 2014. Simon allegedly knew about this at the time, two years before claims against Nassar became widely known.
Thomashow was one of 156 women who spoke or were represented at Nassar’s sentencing hearing for sexual assault in Ingham County, Michigan in January 2018. The disgraced doctor was also sentenced in Eaton County on similar charges, and in federal court for a child pornography case.
Survivors said Nassar misused his position as doctor. The charges didn’t just take him out. They rocked MSU and USA Gymnastics. Survivors often lashed out at the institutions, and claimed officials did little, if anything, to protect them.
“The investigation done by MSU was brief and sloppy,” Thomashow said. “It left me feeling disposable and worthless.”
Simon announced her resignation in January 2018.
“As tragedies are politicized, blame is inevitable,” she wrote in a statement.
[Image via Scott Olson/Getty Images]