Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon attended part of the second day of Larry Nassar’s hearing Wednesday after facing criticism for not showing up on the first day. Simon stepped into the courtroom around 12:40 p.m. ET, according to Matt Mencarini of the Lansing State Journal.
MSU President Lou Anna Simon just walked into the courtroom.
— Matt Mencarini (@MattMencarini) January 17, 2018
Nassar is being sentenced this week after pleading guilty to multiple sexual misconduct charges. Nassar has been accused of sexually abusing and molesting more than 150 girls and young women. He gained access to his victims through his position as a team doctor with USA Gymnastics and through Michigan State.
Nearly 100 of those victims are confronting Nassar in a Lansing, Mich. courtroom this week as his sentencing is expected to last until Friday. Some of those victims are also voicing their resentment for how their complaints were handled by both USA Gymnastics and Michigan State.
On Tuesday, Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel wrote a column calling out Michigan State officials, including Simon, for not showing up to the sentencing on Tuesday even though the courtroom was less than five miles from campus.
Part of the tale of the packed courtroom was who didn’t come to hear it, who didn’t attend, who couldn’t be bothered, or simply wasn’t brave enough, to show up.
Lou Anna K. Simon, president of Michigan State University, where Nassar operated for decades with impunity despite victims speaking up? Nope.
Any member of the Michigan State Board of Directors, which keeps standing behind Simon and an investigative process victims call empty and pointless? Nope.
No sign of anyone from Michigan State. No sign at all. Three and a half miles from campus and not a one.
Kristen Jordan Shamus of the Detroit Free Press also sharply criticized Simon for not showing up Tuesday and called her apology to victims from December “hollow.”
None of us can count on Simon to protect our sons and daughters on the East Lansing campus of our publicly funded university without a commitment to an independent investigation by an outside agency and full disclosure of its findings.