strampel Michigan State University
William Strampel, former dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at MSU

Former dean at Michigan State charged with sexual misconduct

William Strampel, former dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, supervised Larry Nassar, who has been imprisoned for abusing dozens of girls and young women.

William Strampel, the former dean of Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine, has been charged with criminal sexual misconduct and willful neglect of duty.

The State News, MSU's student newspaper, reports that four victims have detailed multiple incidents alleging sexual misconduct against Strampel in a sworn affidavit.

Strampel was arrested Monday evening. In addition to one charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a misdemeanor, Strampel also faces a felony count of misconduct in office and two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty as a public officer. 

As dean, Strampel supervised Larry Nassar, the former MSU faculty member and doctor for USA Gymnastics, who has been convicted of sexually assaulting numerous girls and women.

Special Prosecutor William Forsyth, overseeing the investigation into MSU, highlighted a section of the affidavit as the basis for the charges: 

"As Dean of the College, Strampel used his office to harass, discriminate, demean, sexually proposition, and sexually assault female students in violation of his statutory duty as a public officer."

Strampel went on medical leave in December 2017 after serving as dean since 2002. In February, Interim MSU President John Engler moved to begin revoking Strampel's tenure, asserting that Strampel did not act with a level of professionalism MSU expects from senior officials. 

On Feb. 2, investigators seized a computer from Strampel's office. A forensic investigation uncovered about 50 photos of bare vaginas, nude and semi-nude women, sex toys and pornography.

Many of the photos appear to be "selfies" of female MSU students, as evidenced by MSU clothing and piercings featured in multiple photos. Also found on the computer were pornographic videos and a video of Nassar performing "treatment" on a young female patient. 

According to the affidavit filed in court, a medical student met with Strampel on June 29, 2017, to appeal a test score she received on an exam necessary to complete medical school.

Strampel denied the victim's appeal and said the victim would not perform well enough to continue in medical school. Strampel allegedly suggested that 26-year-old women (her age at the time) can "put out" for 20 minutes with an old man, after which they could get the benefit of a free vacation. In that same meeting, Strampel also commented without prompting on the difficulty of sending nude photos.

The victim interpreted these statements as a request to send Strampel nude photos in exchange for special consideration.

In a second incident, a student was summoned to meet with Strampel after falling asleep during a class, She met with Strampel in his office and was directed to a chair, but told not to sit. Strampel told her to turn around twice, then began degrading her appearance and telling her she needed to "dress like a woman." He added that she was never going to make it in the profession if she did not "dress sexier." . 

In her fourth year of medical school, the second victim received a scholarship and attended a special dinner to honor the recipients. As she stood next to Strampel waiting for the picture to be taken, Strampel reached around and grabbed her buttocks and gripped it "firmly." the affidavit states.

Victim 3, a medical student at the college, met with Strampel in 2014 to discuss an exam. When the woman walked into his office, Strampel scanned her body up and down several times, making her feel uncomfortable. In a later meeting, Strampel suggested the woman become a "centerfold model," and told her of another student who became a stripper to pay for medical school. 

Strampel agreed to let the woman re-take an exam. In return, Strampel said she would be required to "do anything" for him.. She took that to mean that she was being asked to do anything he wanted sexually in exchange for the favor. 

The fourth victim went through similar experiences as the other victims.

Early in either 2006 or 2007,. Strampel turned a conversation to the subject of drinking and how "it was good when women were drunk, because then it was easy to have sex with them."

In February 2010, the victim attended the college's annual Ball. Strampel approached her from behind and grabbed her right buttock.

She told their partner about the incident, but decided not to report it, because she "did not want be thrown out of medical school."

 

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