Judge Julie Reincke ruled that ex-Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon's case will go to trial about allegations of lying to Michigan State Police officials about her knowledge of serial child molester Larry Nassar's sexual abuse.
Simon is charged with two counts of lying to a peace officer in a violent crime investigation, a four year felony. She is also charged with two counts of lying to a peace officer in a four year or more crime investigation, which is a high-court misdemeanor with a maximum of two years. Each charge includes a possible fine of $5,000.
All charges come from the Title IX investigation into Amanda Thomashow’s 2014 complaint against Nassar. Simon's preliminary hearing began in February and concluded on July 23, 2019.
"There is probable cause to believe that (Simon) concealed the information voluntarily and intentionally with the intent to deceive and not by mistake," according to a court document signed by Reincke.
Simon's felony arraignment, if not waived, will be set for Dec. 12, 2019, according to Beryl Frenger, Eaton County Court Trial Court Administrator.
"Today’s decision to move forward with trial brings survivors another step closer to receiving the answers they deserve," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. "After months of preliminary examination and thoughtful consideration by Judge Julie Reinke, we are ready to bring the facts to a jury of Ms. Simon’s peers."
"We are disappointed by the district court's ruling in light of the complete lack of evidence to support the charges against Lou Anna Simon," said Lee Silver, one of Simon's attorneys. "We plan to vigorously defend Dr. Simon and will be appealing the decision of the district court. We remain confident that we will ultimately prevail, and that Lou Anna Simon will be fully acquitted of these charges."
This article was updated to include comments from attorneys.
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