By ED WHITE
DETROIT — A judge dismissed criminal charges Wednesday against former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon, who was accused of lying to investigators in 2018 as they tried to learn what she knew years earlier about sexual assault complaints involving Larry Nassar.
Simon last year was ordered to trial in Eaton County, near Lansing. But Circuit Judge John Maurer tossed the case, saying a lower court judge had abused her discretion in finding enough evidence to keep the case going.
Nassar, who was a campus doctor, is serving decades in prison. Hundreds of women and girls, mostly gymnasts, said he molested them during visits for hip, back and leg injuries.
The charges against Simon centered on a 2018 interview with investigators who said they wanted to know what officials at the East Lansing school knew about Nassar.
Authorities alleged that Simon knew in 2014 that Nassar had been accused of molesting a patient at a campus clinic, and that she knew of the nature of the complaint.
But Simon insisted that she was aware only that a complaint had been filed against a sports doctor. She said she didn’t learn anything specific about Nassar until 2016.
Maurer reviewed transcripts from the seven-day hearing in District Court..
“The testimony and documentary evidence show … that no one remembers communicating with Dr. Simon about Dr. Nassar in 2014,” the judge said.
In his 24-page opinion, the judge criticized the veteran detectives who interviewed Simon, saying they repeatedly missed opportunities to clarify questions during their meeting, which occurred three months after she had abruptly resigned as MSU’s president.
By ED WHITE