Witness ‘doesn’t recall’ telling Simon about 2014 Nassar complaint

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A key witness in the case against former Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon says she does not recall telling Simon about the allegations against Nassar in 2014.

This was the third day of Simon’s preliminary exam. Prosecutors are trying to convince a judge there’s enough evidence to send her to trial on charges of lying to police during the Larry Nassar investigation.

>>>Day two recap

>>>Day one recap, including case background

Simon’s former Senior Advisor, Paulette Granberry Russell, was on the stand all day, with Assistant Attorney General Scott Teter questioning her for most of the day.

Throughout questioning, Granberry Russell testified she could not recall several key details about the case, including:

  • Whether or not she received a phone call from former Title IX Investigator Kristine Moore about the complaint against Nassar (Moore testified Monday she did make that call to Granberry Russell).
  • Whether or not handwritten notes on an agenda saying “COM incident,” or College of Osteopathic Medicine (where Nassar worked), was about Nassar specifically. She did testify that, to her knowledge, there were no other doctors at the College of Osteopathic Medicine under investigation at that time.
  • When she wrote on a folder used for a 2014 meeting with Simon the notes “COM incident” and “Sports med Dr. Nassar SA.” She testified that the note was not written after 2016.

Judge Julie Reincke asked Granberry Russell if it was possible she brought up the Nassar allegations in a May 19, 2014 meeting with Simon.

“It’s possible, but again I cannot recall stating to President Simon the matter involving Larry Nassar at that meeting,” Granberry Russell testified. “I don’t have any notes that would cause me to trigger a memory of that.”

Granberry Russell’s testimony is key to the case, as prosecutors say it’s her notes written on a folder and agenda used in a May 2014 meeting with Simon that prove Simon knew about Nassar that year. Simon had told police she was not aware Nassar specifically was the subject of those allegations prior to 2016.

A large part of the afternoon was also spent on two folders. The folder the notes were written on was for a meeting dated May 14, 2014.

However, Granberry Russell sent an email dated May 16 to Simon, saying “We have an incident with a sports medicine doctor.” The meeting were prosecutors allege Simon was informed happened on May 19.

No notes were written on the folder for that date. The agenda in that folder did have Granberry Russell’s handwritten notes, saying “COM incident,” however, she testified the notes were for her to use during the meeting, and Simon’s agenda would not have included those notes.

Granberry Russell will be cross-examined by Simon’s lawyers Tuesday, May 16. There will be at least one additional day scheduled for the preliminary exam, however that date has not been set.

6 News will be in the courtroom for each day.

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