A judge dismissed criminal charges Wednesday against former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon, stemming from the Larry Nassar sexual assault case.
Simon was ordered to trial last year on charges that she lied to police about her knowledge of a sexual misconduct complaint against Nassar, who was a campus doctor and now is serving decades in prison.
Eaton County Judge John Maurer dismissed the case. The attorney general's office did not immediately respond to questions about the dismissal and whether they will appeal the decision.
Simon was "extremely pleased" to hear the judge's decision, according to Lee Silver, one of her attorneys. Silver said he views the judge's written decision as "complete vindication for Dr. Simon."
The charges against Simon centered on a 2018 interview with investigators who wanted to know what officials at the East Lansing university knew about complaints about Nassar years earlier.
Authorities said Simon knew in 2014 that Nassar had been accused of molesting a patient at a campus clinic and that she knew of the nature of the complaint.
Simon insisted that she knew only that a complaint had been filed against a sports doctor.
"The prosecution did not provide evidence sufficient to give a reasonable person probable cause to believe that Dr. Simon knew during her 2018 interview that her purported knowledge in 2014 of Dr. Nassar's name and the 'nature' and 'substance' of the complaint against him" were relevant to the 2018 investigation, the judge said.
"It was a very well-reasoned, extremely detailed, 24-page opinion," Silver said Wednesday. "The opinion confirmed what we've been saying since day one. The prosecution's case was based on conjecture and there was not a shred of evidence to support these charges."
The 2014 complaint came from former Michigan State student Amanda Thomashow. She told one of Nassar's coworkers that he sexually assaulted her during an appointment. The complaint prompted a Title IX investigation and a police investigation, both of which failed to find Nassar had done anything wrong. Prosecutors said Simon was made aware of the complaint during a meeting with the head of the university's Title IX office four days after Thomashow first spoke to investigators.
"I'm so sad. I can't stop crying," Thomashow said Wednesday afternoon, when asked about the judge's decision to dismiss charges against Simon. "I feel like I don't matter."
Simon resigned as Michigan State president in January 2018, hours after Nassar was sentenced to prison following days of testimony from survivors.
"We are aware of the judge's decision and, out of respect for the judicial process, we are not going to comment on the proceedings," Michigan State spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said. "MSU remains committed to the changes needed at MSU that ensure a stronger, safer and more respectful campus community for all students, faculty and staff."
Hundreds of women and girls, mostly gymnasts, said Nassar molested them with his hands during visits for hip, back and leg injuries. Besides working at Michigan State, Nassar was team doctor at USA Gymnastics, which is based in Indianapolis and trains Olympians. Those athletes also said they were sexually assaulted by Nassar.
Michigan State agreed to pay $500 million to survivors of Nassar's abuse. Separately, the U.S. Education Department ordered the school to make sweeping changes and pay a $4.5 million penalty.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos last fall said Nassar's actions were "disgusting and unimaginable" and that the university's response fit the same description.
In February, former Michigan State gymnastics coach Kathie Klages was convicted of lying to police. She had denied that two teenagers told her about Nassar's abuse in 1997.
ESPN's Dan Murphy and The Associated Press contributed to this report.