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Survivor speaks out about Klages' hearing

Posted at 8:39 AM, Aug 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 09:01:46-04

While the Michigan State University is clear with the NCAA its former gymnastics coach is in trouble with the law. Kathie Klages turned herself in and was arraigned on two counts of lying to Larry Nassar investigators this morning.

FOX 47's Alani Letang tried to talk to her when she surrendered Thursday morning.

Klages didn't have much to say as she blew past news reporters. However, one of her former gymnasts was pretty vocal about why she's happy and unhappy with how things went Thursday morning.

"Kathy anything to say about the allegations against you? Anything to say to the survivors? Anything to say at all?" Letang tried to ask.  "Not right now," responded one of Klages' lawyers.

"Seeing her for the first time after the last two years was a very surreal moment," said Lindsey Lemke, former MSU gymnast who told Klages about allegations of sexual abuse.

This was a moment survivors said they've been waiting to see. But some of them wanted to look Klages in the eye when it happened.

Lemke wasn't happy she was arraigned on video instead of in-person.

"That's not fair we got up in court in front of the world, we went public with our stories and shared gruesome details about ourselves, and she gets to hide behind a wall and not show her face, that's very frustrating," said Lemke.

Behind that wall and next to Klages was her lawyer, Takura Nyamfukudza, who told Letang the timing of the charges are questionable.

"It's no news flash to anybody that I think for the AG, Larry Nassar and everyone associated to him is the gift that keeps on giving. We are just a few months away from the election season and I think the timing is very interesting," said Takura Nyamfukudza-Klages' Attorney

When asked if he thinks this was politically motivated, Nyamfukudza referred again to the timing of the situation and said: "Larry Nassar is off the front page and here we are again."

He said he's confident his client will be cleared of charges that she lied when she told investigators she didn't know about Nassar's abuse of young gymnasts until 2016.

Previously, two survivors say they told her as far back as 1997. When Lemke told her of her abuse, the backlash she received at the time makes her glad to see Kages hauled into court on Thursday.

Lemke said, and now you move onto the enablers, and we've been talking about Kathy Klages from the very beginning, it's not political she lied and now she has to deal with it." This is a step towards healing, Lemke told Letang "Her wrongdoing is now coming through and it's shining in the light....and I was actually trying to do what was right to stand up for other people and now that she's dealing with her own consequences it's relieving."

Klages is out on bond. She's due back in court September 7th for a probable cause hearing and again on September 27th for a preliminary exam.

We'll let you know if those dates change.

MSU suspended Klages in february of 2017.

Then-athletic director Mark Hollis said it was because she defended Nassar in a team meeting. Klages retired the next day.