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Klages' children testify in trial

Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-13 21:05:20-05

LANSING, Mich. — Prosecutors rested their case on Wednesday against former MSU Gymnastics Coach, Kathie Klages.

She's charged with lying to police about when she knew about Larry Nassar's sexual misconduct on campus.

The defense team had witnesses on the stand that included two of Kathie's children that were in gymnastics.

But first, on Tuesday, Larrisa Boyce and another woman who wished to remain anonymous, testified that they told Kathie Klages they were sexually abused by Nassar in 1997 during the time they participated in Spartan Youth Gymnastics.

Raven Slaght, one of the daughter's of Klages, took the stand for the defense. She said that she knows the anonymous woman.

"We were friendly when we were in club together, " she said. "She very kindly reached out to me when my son was born and sick. Acquaintances more so," she added.

Slaght said she even heard from the woman as recently as 2015.

"It was via Facebook, She just reached out because she had been in my shoes, (she) had a child that was needing some oxygen help and was actually really helpful and supportive."

Slaght said she started gymnastics in 1998. Her older brother Mathew spent 13 years in gymnastics, quitting the sport and Spartan Youth Gymnastics in 1996.

"I didn't know much about life other than training to be an Olympic gymnast," Matthew Klages said. "I was ready to go out and have fun with my friends and be a normal teenager."

Both said they knew Nassar while growing up and even were his patients in the 2000s.

The prosecution asked Slaght, "In the interaction you've had with Dr. Nassar, it was nothing inappropriate, would you agree?"

And Slaght said, "Yes."

Also taking the stand on Thursday was MSU Associate Athletic Director Rick Atkinson. He was the MSU men's gymnastics coach from 1989 until the program ended in 2001.

He ran the Spartan Youth Gymnastics program with Kathie Klages.

Atkinson testified Kathie Klages didn't interact with many of the youth participants.

Atkinson told jurors he didn't meet with youth participants in his office and he would surprised if Kathie Klages did.

He also said Nassar didn't work directly with the group.

"If it was a major injury, we'd call an ambulance. If it wasn't we either excused them and tell them to see their personal physicians or have them work through it I guess. But we didn't have any personnel at all," Atkinson said in court.

The jury is expected to start deliberations on Friday.

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