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Former head of Michigan State University charged with lying in Larry Nassar investigation

Former Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon has been charged with lying to police conducting an investigation of Larry Nassar's sexual abuse.

Lou Anna Simon now the 4th person, excluding Nassar, charged in relation to his sexual abuse of young athletes

Lou Anna Simon, former president of Michigan State University, has been charged with lying to police investigating Larry Nassar for sexual abuse. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Former Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon has been charged with lying to police conducting an investigation of Larry Nassar's sexual abuse.

Simon, who stepped down earlier this year over the scandal, was charged Tuesday with two felonies and two misdemeanours.

She is now the fourth person other than Nassar to face criminal charges related to his serial molestation of young female athletes under the guise of treatment. Numerous other people have lost their jobs or been sued.

Former team USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar pleaded guilty last year to sexually assaulting nine females and possessing child pornography. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

Simon, who stepped down earlier this year, was asked by investigators in May if she was aware of any investigation involving Nassar before 2016. She said she knew in 2014 that a sports medicine physician was the subject of review. The charging document, however, says she knew it was Nassar. It also accuses her of falsely stating that she was unaware of the nature of the sexual misconduct complaint that was being investigated.

If convicted, Simon faces up to four years in prison. 

Hundreds of girls and women have said Nassar molested them when he was a physician, including while he worked at Michigan State and Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains U.S. Olympians.

Nassar, 55, pleaded guilty last year to sexually assaulting nine females and possessing child pornography, and his sentences equate to life in prison.

USA Gymnastics is facing decertification of its status as the national governing body for the sport amid concerns about its leadership and the way it handled complaints against Nassar. 

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