Former Michigan State University head gymnastics coach Kathie Klages has been sentenced to three months in jail after being found guilty of lying to police during the 2018 Larry Nassar investigation.
Convicted in February, she had been facing up to four years in prison under statute and up to 17 months per sentencing guidelines. The sentencing came after Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk heard victim impact statements from two women who told Klages they endured abuse by Nassar over two decades ago.
Said one anonymous victim:
“She questioned me like I was already in trouble and, instead of offering me advice or protection, she offered me a cold answer,” the former gymnast testified during her victim impact statement. “That answer caused devastation on my entire life.”
According to defense lawyer Mary Chartier, her client is innocent.
“I think an innocent woman was sentenced to jail today,” she told reporters after the hearing. “She’s a strong woman. She’ll certainly be able to survive this.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel offered a starking contrast, however:
“The evidence clearly points to the fact that Ms. Klages was aware – for decades – of Larry Nassar’s actions,” Nessel said. “She did nothing to protect the young women who were counting on her to stand up for them. Ms. Klages chose to remain silent at a time when doing the right thing should’ve motivated her to do the very opposite and speak up on behalf of the victims.
“Her inaction empowered Larry Nassar to continue committing his heinous crimes,” Nessel continued, “and for her dishonesty, Ms. Klages will be forever tied to the trail of victims Nassar left behind.”
– – Quotes via Megan Banta of The Lansing State Journal Link – –