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Court Clears Michigan State Officials in Nassar Probe

The Michigan Court of Appeals cleared two former Michigan State University officials who had been charged with lying to investigators in the sexual abuse investigation of former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. In a 2-1 decision, the court overturned the conviction of former Michigan State University gymnastics coach Kathie Klages, NPR reports. In 2018, two women testified that when they were teens they told Klages in 1997 that Nassar assaulted them during treatment. Klages told police she didn't recall those conversations. A jury last year found Klages guilty of lying to a peace officer. Nassar, who was also a team doctor for female Olympic gymnasts, is serving a decades-long prison term for abusing hundreds of girls and young women.

The appeals court said Klages' interviews with police weren't material to the broader criminal investigation. "Here, the prosecution never presented evidence of any underlying crime or even suggested that someone 'got away,'" said Judges Elizabeth Gleicher and Cynthia Stephens. Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to come forward publicly against Nassar, tweeted after the court ruling, "It never ends. I'm so disappointed at this result... The appeals court affirmed a decision by a lower court judge to dismiss the case against Lou Anna Simon, the university's former president. The court said case there was insufficient evidence to send her to trial. Charges against Simon centered on her 2018 interview with investigators about what school officials knew about Nassar.


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