Former Michigan State University dean William Strampel has been sentenced to a year in jail after being convicted of misconduct and willful neglect of duty.
The Lansing State Journal reports that Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk sentenced Strampel to 11 months for felony misconduct in office and one year each for two misdemeanor willful neglect of duty charges. He will serve the sentences concurrently.
Jurors found him guilty after finding that he used his power as dean of MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine to proposition and control female medical students.
The jury also determined there was sufficient evidence to support prosecutors' argument that Strampel displayed "complete indifference" about whether convicted sex offender Larry Nassar was following protocols meant to decrease risk for the university following a complaint of sexual assault in 2014. Nassar, who worked in the university's sports medicine clinic, is serving a lengthy prison sentence for sexually abusing more than 500 women and girls.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement that Strampel's sentence sent a clear message to public officials.
"If you brandish your power to demean, insult, harass, objectify, and abuse women, you will be held accountable," Nessel said. "While Mr. Strampel’s sentence will never give back the years of pain and suffering his victims had to endure, the persistence of these courageous survivors made certain that he could no longer hide behind the title he once held to escape the reach of justice.”
Sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of zero to six months in jail. But Draganchuk said that was inadequate because Strampel's actions went "beyond inappropriate behavior," and he used his position to oppress women and squash their dreams.
Several female medical students and College of Osteopathic Medicine graduates testified during Strampel's trial that when they petitioned him as dean of the school, he made sexually inappropriate comments and propositioned them for sexual favors.
Draganchuk said in the case of at least some of the women, it appeared he "overtly" suggested they trade sexual acts for the chance to continue pursuing their career.
The judge noted Strampel's apparent lack of remorse when imposed the sentence. She described him as "someone who can’t see anything wrong at all in what they did has a longer road to reformation or rehabilitation."
Strampel is the first MSU administrator to be sentenced to jail stemming from the Nassar investigation. Former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon and former university gymnastics coach Kathy Klages face criminal charges in connection with the Nassar probe.
Prosecutors charged Klages in August 2018 with lying to police about her knowledge of sexual assault complaints about Nassar prior to 2016.
Simon has been charged with lying to police.