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Former MSU gymnastics coach accused of lying for Larry Nassar's abuses

Witnesses say they told Kathie Klages, a former gymnastics coach at Michigan State University, about abuses of former team doctor Larry Nassar several times over a period of 20 years. Prosecutors say he told Michigan State Police detectives he knew nothing about it.

Now, she is looking for a possible prison.

Klages was charged Thursday with two counts of lying to an officer as part of a state investigation that seeks to hold MSU officials accountable for Nassar's long history of abuse.

Prosecutors allege that Klages lied to investigators about knowing something about Nassar's abuse before 2016, the year IndyStar newspaper in Indianapolis published accusations from a couple of women. He faces a misdemeanor charge, which can be punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $ 5,000, and a felony charge, which can be punishable by up to four years in prison or a fine of up to $ 5,000.

Klages retired as a female gymnastics coach from MSU in February 2017, amid accusations that she had played a role in Nassar's protection. As her legal problems grew, she reportedly asked her young athletes to sign a card for the doctor.

In January, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the investigation led by special independent attorney Bill Forsyth, a veteran county prosecutor. At the time, Schuette, the Republican Party's candidate for governor of Michigan this year, promised to examine "every corner" of MSU to find out "who knew what and when, who took action, who did not take action, what did or what did " it did not happen, and what should have happened. "

Since then, Schuette's office says that it has interviewed more than 500 people, including professors and MSU staff and Many survivors of Nassar's abuse The investigation is "still open and ongoing," the office said in a statement on Thursday.

More than 265 people have accused Nassar of abusing He served as a medical doctor for decades as a team doctor at MSU and for USA Gymnastics, which saw the resignation of his entire board on the heels of the scandal.

This year, after long and emotional sentencing sentences, Nassar received from 40 to 175 years in prison in seven charges and another 40 to 125 years in three other charges.

Another official of MSU, former dean William Strampel, was also accused scandal in Nassar, as the former gymnastics coach of EE. UU Debbie Van Horn.

Critics argue that MSU did not do enough to address a terrible problem that its officials allegedly knew for some time. A review by the US Department of Education UU From 2015 on sexual harassment and aggression complaints made to the MSU he discovered a disturbing history of slow responses and lack of action, which led the school to appoint a designated Title IX coordinator to track those complaints. In the light of the Nassar scandal, the Department of Education announced that it would investigate again the handling of such complaints by the school. The NCAA said it would also be in the matter.

Although months have passed since the Nassar ruling, MSU has not yet returned to normal. The school is still looking for a president to replace Lou Anna Simon, who resigned in January because the accusations against the doctor came to a crescendo. The school installed former Michigan governor John Engler as Simon's provisional replacement, but more than 100 Nassar prosecutors have urged Engler to stay away from emails suggesting he may have known the abuse before made public.

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