Kathie Klages, a former head gymnastics coach at Michigan State University, was found guilty in February of a felony and misdemeanor for lying to police officers about her knowledge of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse, according to AP. On Tuesday afternoon, Klages was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 18 months of probation for the charges, which came about after two women who had been abused by Nassar testified in court that they had told Klages of the abuse in 1997. According to AP, one of the women also testified that Klages “held up a piece of paper in front of the then-teenager and warned that if she filed a report there could be serious consequences.” Klages claimed she had no recollection of these conversations.
Klages who claimed she had no recollection of those conversations and reiterated during her sentencing that she still doesn’t remember, says she’s been seeing a therapist to attempt to recover her memory and apologized to the women “if [the conversations] occurred,” as AP put it.
Under Michigan law Klages faced up for four years in prison for lying to officers about her knowledge of Nassar’s abuse, but her lawyer negotiated for a lighter sentence as Klages is a nonviolent, first-time offender. Klages’s lawyer also argued that even if Klages had reported what she had been told about Nassar, “Police and prosecutors were aware of the procedures, and they did nothing. To ignore this and claim that Mrs. Klages could have stopped the devastation wrought by Mr. Nassar is just plain false.”AP reports that nearly 200 letters were sent to the sentencing judge on Klages’s behalf.
USA Gymnastics is being sued by 517 women, who were girls when they say Larry Nassar began abusing them.