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Klages Defense Seeks To Create Doubt

Rick Atkinson testifies photo
Scott Pohl
Rick Atkinson (L) testifies in the Kathie Klages trial. The former MSU men's gymnastics coach ran the Spartan Youth Gymnastics Program with Klages in1997.

The third day in the trial of the former MSU gymnastics coach charged with lying to police about being told that Larry Nassar was sexually abusing athletes in 1997 has concluded.

Prosecutors rested their case today. Then, the defense for Kathie Klages called a series of witnesses that the hope will prove that it was unlikely for two gymnasts to have told Klages about sexual abuse in the way they describe.

An example has to do with prosecution testimony that MSU gymnasts were among people called in to Klages’ office during the meeting. Several witnesses said the MSU team was not typically in Jenison Field House at the same time as the Spartan Youth Gymnastics program.

Rick Atkinson was MSU’s men’s gymnastics coach and Klages’s partner in running the youth program at the time. He testified that it was highly unlikely that he conducted meetings with youth gymnasts in his office, and would be surprised if Klages had done so. However, he couldn't say that with certainty.

At least one more witness is expected to be called on Friday, and the jury is expected to begin deliberations.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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