Ex-MSU Gymnastics Coach Kathie Klages Sentenced for Lying in Nassar Case

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2020

Michigan State's logo is seen on Spartan Stadium before the start of an NCAA college football game between Michigan State and Tulsa, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Al Goldis/Associated Press

A judge sentenced former Michigan State head gymnastics coach Kathie Klages to 90 days in jail after she was found guilty of lying to investigators about her knowledge of abuse committed by Larry Nassar, according to the Associated Press' Anna Liz Nichols.

Nassar pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct in January 2018. More than 150 women and girls had testified during his trial that he sexually abused them while he worked as a doctor for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics.

Larissa Boyce testified in February that she approached Klages in 1997 to discuss abuse she had suffered, only to have Klages dismiss the claims, per MLive.com's Gus Burns (warning: contains graphic language):

"'I was 16,' Boyce testified. 'I remember telling Kathie (Klages) that Larry was sticking his fingers inside of me and it felt like he was fingering me.'

"Klages didn't call Boyce’s parents, Klages didn't report Nassar to the university and Klages didn't call police, Boyce testified.

"Instead, Klages 'berated' Boyce and made her feel like she was 'crazy' and a 'liar,' Boyce testified. To support her claims, Boyce said she brought up another gymnast, a then-14-year-old family friend in the same summer program, who'd also been abused by Nassar."

Klages said during the trial she didn't recall being alerted to allegations against Nassar, something she had also told authorities in June 2018. Days after Boyce's testimony, a jury determined that Klages had lied and thus impeded the investigation into Nassar.

Judge Joyce Draganchuk added during her ruling that Klages' actions "not only thwarted an investigation, but it also impacted two victims of sexual assault," per ESPN's Dan Murphy and John Barr. Draganchuk went on to say the latter offense "is far greater and more serious" that the consequences she created for the investigation.

Former Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon was also accused of lying to police but had the charges dismissed in May. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed an appeal of the ruling in July.

Former Michigan State dean William Strampel was also sentenced to one year in jail after he was found guilty of misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty.