After seven days, stretching over the course of five months, former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon’s preliminary exam is over.
Both the prosecution and defense made their closing statements Tuesday afternoon. But it could be months before Judge Julie Reincke decides if Simon will stand trial.
Simon is charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors in the case. She told police she knew a sports medicine doctor was under investigation in 2014, but did not know it was Nassar specifically. Prosecutors say that was a lie.
During their closing arguments, Assistant Attorney General Scott Teter argued Simon lied to protect herself and the university from liability. They added an email from Paulette Granberry Russell and an agenda used for a meeting between Simon and Granberry Russell prove it.
Teter said the fact Simon didn’t tell investigators about these documents proves she was trying to hide what she knew.
“It allowed her to absolve herself and MSU from the responsibility of what she knew and when she knew it,” he said. “She dedicated her entire career and her entire life to MSU. I don’t doubt her commitment to her college at all. In fact, it’s probably that commitment that lands her here today.”
But Simon’s defense attorney, Lee Silver, argued during his closing statement that there’s no evidence proving Simon knew about Nassar in 2014, as well as there being no proof that she lied about what she knew during the May 2018 interview with police.
“This case, it never should have been brought. There is no evidence to support these charges. Their whole case hangs by the thread of assumptions, speculation and conjecture,” Silver said.
Silver also implored Judge Reincke to “put an end to Dr. Simon’s nightmare. Put an end to this terrible miscarriage of justice, and put an end to this witch hunt.”
Judge Reincke will send both sides transcripts of all seven days of testimony. Once that happens:
- The prosecution will have 28 days to file a brief supporting their motion to send Simon to trial.
- After that motion is filed, the defense will have 21 days to file their brief in response to that motion.
- Following the defense’s brief, the prosecution will have 14 days to file a rebuttal brief.
- Following that, Judge Reincke will issue a written decision.
6 News will let you know when these motions are filed, and when a decision is reached.