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Former MSU president Lou Anna Simon returns to court for preliminary hearing

Lou Anna Simon in Eaton County court
Cheyna Roth
Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon, pictured here in a file photo, returned to court Tuesday.

Update Wednesday, July 24, 2019, 8:50 a.m.

A decision on whether former Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon will stand trial is on hold for at least two months. 

After closing statements Tuesday, Eaton County Judge Julie Reincke allowed up to nine weeks to review transcripts and legal briefs in the case against Simon.

Simon is accused of lying to the Michigan State Police in May 2018 about when she knew about a sexual assault claim against former sports doctor Larry Nassar. Prosecutors say Simon covered up to protect the university’s reputation.

But her attorney Lee Silver maintains Simon is innocent.

“There’s no evidence that supports these charges and I honestly believe this is a witch hunt and a terrible miscarriage of justice,” he said.

At the end of the review period, Judge Reincke will decide whether to dismiss the case or bind Simon over for trial.

Simon stepped down as MSU’s president in January 2018.

Original post Wednesday, June 12 2019, 9:42 a.m. Former Michigan State Universtiy president Lou Anna Simon was back in district court Tuesday for the fifth day of testimony in a preliminary hearing to decide whether she should stand trial.

The Michigan Attorney General’s office says Simon lied to police about what she knew and when about a 2014 complaint against Larry Nassar, who worked for the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Nassar is the former MSU sports doctor who sexually abused hundreds of his patients and is now in prison.

Simon faces two felonies and two misdemeanors. If convicted, she could serve up to four years in prison on the felony counts.

Judge Julie Reincke heard testimony from a Michigan State Police detective who said Simon lied during a 2018 investigation.

Simon’s attorney, Lee Silver, spent much of the day cross-examining the detective who interviewed Simon in May 2018 about what she knew in 2014. Silver says he’s satisfied with the outcome.

“My goal today was to establish that there’s no evidence – not a shred of evidence that anybody mentioned Larry Nassar to Lou Anna Simon in 2014, and I think that goal was accomplished,” he says.

Judge Reincke suggested the former Michigan State University president could have to stand trial, but a final decision won't come until at least next month.

The hearing resumes July 12.

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