UPDATE: Amanda Thomashow has concluded her testimony.
The hearing is now adjoured until April 8.
During her testimony of how Larry Nassar abused her, Amanda Thomashow told the court “I was sitting in the room with a monster. What was I going to do? How was I going to get out of it?”
The preminary examination of for Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon is underway in Charlotte. As the proceeding opened defense attornies asked the court to not allow testimony of Larry Nassar abuse victim Amanda Thomashow. The defense argued that testimony would have no relevance to the charges against Simon that she lied to a police officer.
Prosecutors argued that from 2011-2018 the culture at MSU was “protect the brand” while the Nassar situation developed. Attornies claimed Thomashow’s testimony was relevant to establishing the background of when Simon would have had knowledge of the Nassar abuse claims.
The judge ruled that Thomashow could testify with limitation.
In opening arguments prosecutors argued that they would establish a timeline of emails detailing Thomashow’s alerting MSU officials of Nassar’s abuse.
Updates to this story were written by 6 News Reporter, Aaron Jordan.
Original story written by 6 News Reporter, Veronica Gabriel:
Former Michigan State University President, Lou Anna K. Simon is expected to be back in an Eaton County District Court this morning for charges on lying to police in connection to the Larry Nassar sexual assault investigation.
Simon is charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors stemming from statements she made to police earlier this year in connection to the Larry Nassar sexual assault investigation. She faces up to four years if she’s convicted.
The start time for today’s preliminary hearing, where the judge deicdes whether there’s enough evidence to take a case to trial, is 9AM.
After today, the case is expected to pick back up in April where three additional hearing dates are scheduled.
6 News will have a crew in the courtroom and provide updates as the day goes on.
Case details written by former WLNS Anchor/Reporter Alexandra Ilitch:
According to the warrant for charges, the former MSU president is accused of lying to police by saying she was aware that a university sports doctor was the subject of an investigation in 2014, but claimed she did not know it was Nassar.
Police and prosecutors claim that’s not true and accuse Simon of knowing it was Nassar who was under investigation.
Simon has said many times that she was not aware of Nassar, at least by name, until the allegations against him became public towards the end of 2016.
Her attorneys have characterized the charges as “political,” claiming they are “false” and “baseless” with “no shred of evidence to support them.”
In a statement, Mayer Morganroth, one of Simon’s attorneys, said the “only crime is the indictment and they will pay for it.” Morganroth did not specify who he meant by “they.”
Court documents show that Paulette Granberry Russell, the director of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives and senior advisor to the president for diversity, met with Simon in May of 2014, where the two discussed the Title IX complaint against Nassar.
Records show Russell brought notes and agenda items to the meeting which had Nassar’s name written on the outside. On the folder used for that meeting, Russell wrote about the “COM incident” and “Sports med Dr. Nassar SA.”
In an interview with police, Russell said “SA” meant sexual assault and “COM” meant College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Documents reveal that Russell told police she wrote the note because the incident involving Nassar was “problematic for the university, which was then also under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education” and she “wanted to remind herself for the meeting with Simon on Monday, May 19th.”
Simon is the third person to be charged as part of the Attorney General’s probe into MSU’s handling of complaints against the former MSU doctor.
William Strampel, the former MSU dean of Osteopathic Medicine at MSU and Nassar’s former boss, has also been charged on a felony unrelated to Nassar and two misdemeanors tied to the 2014 Title IX investigation of the sexual assault complaints against Nassar prior to 2016.
Nassar is currently serving his 60-year federal prison sentence for possessing child pornography. He faces additional time in the state courts for admitting to sexually abusing young women and girls under the guise of medical treatment. Hundreds of women have come forward saying they were abused by him.