LANSING, Mich. (AP/FOX 17) — A jury has convicted a former Michigan State University gymnastics coach of lying to police when she denied that two teen athletes told her of sexual abuse by sports doctor Larry Nassar in 1997, nearly 20 years before he was charged.
Kathie Klages was found guilty Friday of a felony and a misdemeanor in a Lansing courthouse where Nassar was sentenced more than two years ago. She faces up to four years in prison.
She's the second person other than Nassar to be found guilty of charges related to his serial molestation of young women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released a statement on the conviction:
“Ms. Klages knew of Larry Nassar’s sexual misconduct but neglected to tell investigators. She could and should have acted on complaints about Larry Nassar decades ago. That is a failure on multiple levels, but none is more important than her failure to protect the young women who had the courage to speak up decades ago and the hundreds who became Nassar’s victims after that.”
She said she was “shocked” when she first learned years later that one of the teens said she had previously told Klages about Nassar. Klages was the last witness to testify in her trial.
Klages' memory has been a focal point in her defense throughout the trial.
During opening statements Tuesday, the defense said the trial is the result of an overzealous investigative team. One of the witnesses to take stand Tuesday was Larissa Boyce, who testified she told Boyce about inappropriate treatment in 1997.
Boyce said Klages brought other gymnasts into her office to talk to Boyce about how they felt Nassar's treatment wasn't uncomfortable.
Over 300 victims have said Nassar molested them under the guise of treatment.