Monday, January 3, 2022
Vacated Sentence for MSU Gymnastics Coach Accused of Making False Statements in Nassar Case
The Michigan Court of Appeals vacated Kathie Ann Klages' conviction for making a false statement in the investation of Larry Nassar's sexual abuse. Michigan Radio provides context to the case:
A jury convicted Klages last year of two counts of giving a false statement to a peace officer after determining she lied to investigators in 2018 when she told them she had no memory of two teenage gymnasts telling her in 1997 that Nassar's so-called treatment involved genital penetration.
A judge sentenced Klages to 90 days in jail and 18 months probation, but Klages earned early release from probation at the request of her supervisors who described her as cooperative.
The full case can be accessed here. The opinion summary previews:
The Michigan Attorney General charged Kathie Ann Klages with making a false statement to a peace officer investigating Michigan State University’s knowledge of the sexual abuse perpetrated by Dr. Larry Nassar. Klages made the allegedly false statement in 2018, after Nassar had been convicted, sentenced, and imprisoned. The statement concerned Klages’s memory of conversations with two gymnasts that had taken place 21 years earlier, in 1997. Klages denied any recollection of having been told by the gymnasts that Nassar’s “treatment” had included digital-genital penetration. A jury disbelieved this testimony and convicted her of two counts of lying to a peace officer, MCL 750.479c.
Klages raises several challenges to her convictions. We find one dispositive. No evidence supported that Klages’s false statement regarding the 1997 conversations was material to the criminal investigation conducted in 2018. We vacate her convictions and remand for dismissal of the charges.