A former Michigan State University gymnastics coach was in court Thursday. Kathie Klages turned herself in to police and was arraigned on criminal charges for lying to law enforcement – a felony and a misdemeanor.
Witnesses say they told Klages in 1997 that former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar sexually assaulted them. Nassar will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for sexually assaulting his patients for decades. But when confronted by investigators, the Attorney General’s office says Klages told law enforcement that no one reported Nassar’s sexual misconduct to her before 2016.
Lindsey Lemke is a Nassar survivor. She says she isn’t a witness in this case, but she also told Klages that Nassar assaulted her.
“Larry Nassar was the first person that needed to be taken down because he was the abuser, obviously,” she said. “And now you move on to the enablers, and we have been talking about Kathie Klages from the very beginning.”
Takura Nyamfukudza is one of Klages’s attorneys. He said Klages is not guilty, and he pointed out that Attorney General Bill Schuette is running for governor.
“I think for the AG, Larry Nassar and anyone associated to him is the gift that keeps on giving,” he said. “We’re just a few months away from election season and I think the timing is very interesting.”
The AG’s office denies any political motive. Spokesperson Andrea Bitely said, “Lying to a cop has nothing to do with politics – we charge crimes based on the actions of the accused, not the current political climate.”
A hearing to see if there’s enough evidence for Klages to go to trial is scheduled for September.