Former MSU Gymnastics coach charged with lying to investigators about Nassar

Posted at 11:21 AM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 17:18:43-04

Kathie Klages, the former coach for Michigan State University Gymnastics, has been charged with two counts of lying to a peace officer for her alleged role in the Larry Nassar scandal.

Special Independent Counsel Bill Forsyth announced the charges on Thursday.

According to the special counsel, Klages denied to Michigan State Police detectives that she had been told about Nassar's sexual misconduct before 2016. That statement came during the investigation into how Nassar as able to sexually assault hundreds of individuals on and off MSU's campus.

According to witnesses and Nassar survivors, they reported Nassar's sexual abuse to Klages dating back more than 20 years.

Larissa Boyce, a former patient of Nassar’s, allegedly told Klages about the assault. Klages taught the youth program in East Lansing while also leading the MSU gymnastics team.

“I told her that I was uncomfortable with what he was doing, his fingers were going inside me,” Boyce recalls. “She responded that I must be reading into what he was doing or misunderstanding what he was doing…Kathie just still couldn’t believe it, her good friend who she thought she knew couldn’t be something like that.”

After talking to other gymnasts, Boyce said she felt ashamed for even bringing it up. She saw Nassar not long after.

“He sat me down and said 'I talked to Kathie, she told me about the conversation.' And I remember saying, ‘I’m sorry, it was a total misunderstanding, I was misreading. I’m sorry,’ ” Boyce said.

“So you apologized to him?” asked Channel 7’s Ross Jones.

“I apologized to him.  And he continued to do it at that appointment, and I remember at that appointment I felt like he was mad at me while he was doing it. It was much more uncomfortable and I thought he was mad at me.”

There’s no evidence that Boyce’s 1997 complaint led to any discipline for Nassar.

Klages retired from Michigan State in 2017 and the charges are for both a felony and a misdemeanor, and the felony charge is punishable by up to four years in prison.

The prosecution will be handled by the Michigan Attorney Generals Office and Chief Deputy Laura Moody.