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Ex-Michigan State University gymnastics coach Kathie Klages sentenced for lying in Larry Nassar sex abuse case

Former Michigan State gymnastics coach Kathie Klages, center, is flanked by attorneys Mary Chartier, left, and Takura Nyamfukudzaas at a sentencing hearing with Judge Joyce Draganchuk on Tuesday in Lansing. (Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal via AP)

LANSING — A former Michigan State University head gymnastics coach was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in jail for lying to police during an investigation into former Olympic and university doctor Larry Nassar.

Kathie Klages, 65, was found guilty in February of a felony and a misdemeanor for denying she knew of Nassar’s abuse prior to 2016 when survivors started to come forward publicly. She also was sentenced to 18 months of probation.

Klages testified at trial, and in a tearful statement Tuesday, that she did not remember being told about the abuse. She said she had been seeing a therapist to try to remember the conversations, and she apologized to victims if they occurred.

“Even when I don’t express it to others, I struggle with what I’ve been accused of and what my role in this tragedy may have been,” she said in court.

Two women testified in November 2018 that they told Klages in 1997 that Nassar had sexually abused them and spoke Tuesday in court ahead of the sentencing. One of the women, Larissa Boyce, 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.

Nassar was sentenced in 2018 to 40 to 175 years in prison for decades of molestation of young women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.

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