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MSU’s Dean Strampel Charged With One Felony And Multiple Misdemeanors

Cheyna Roth

A former dean at Michigan State University is scheduled for a criminal hearing in May.  That’s to see if there’s enough evidence against him to go forward with charges of misconduct of a public official, criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree, and two separate charges of willful neglect of duty.

Some of the charges stem from William Strampel’s handling of Larry Nassar, the former Olympics and MSU sports doctor who was convicted of sexually assaulting multiple patients under the guise of treatment.  Strampel was Nassar’s supervisor.

Following a Title IXinvestigation, prosecutors say Strampel did not enforce or monitor protocols put in place to oversee Nassar.  Things like wearing gloves, and getting consent for treatment.  Prosecutors also say Strampel let Nassar see patients while the investigation was still ongoing.

John Dakmak is Strampel’s attorney.  He said Strampel did what he was required to do.

“In 2016, when the allegation of actual, sexual assault was made, my client immediately terminated Nassar,” he said.

Those allegations are the basis for two misdemeanor charges of willful neglect of duty.  Strampel also faces a high court misdemeanor.  Multiple women say Strampel grabbed their buttocks, and one of those women is a charged victim for criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree.

Strampel’s final charge is a felony, misconduct of a public official.  He faces up to five years in prison for that charge.

Prosecutors say Strampel stored pornographic photos and videos on his work computer.  Court documents say law enforcement uncovered about 50 photos of, “bare vaginas, nude and semi-nude women, sex toys, and pornography.”  

The document further says these many photos appear to be of female MSU students.  Female students say Strampel made comments about their looks and comments they interpreted to be propositions for sex.  One woman says Strampel, “went on a rant, degrading her appearance and telling her she needed to dress like a woman, clarifying that she was never going to make it in the profession if she did not dress sexier.”

William Forsyth is the special prosecutor who brought 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,” he said.

Strampel has a preliminary exam scheduled for May.  That’s to see if there’s enough evidence for the case to move forward to Circuit Court and a trial.  Dakmak couldn’t speak to specifics of some of the charges because he does not have all the information yet, but he said there’s a lot of allegations that his client denies.

“We have every intention of meeting the burdens or answering the burden that the prosecutor has prevailing either at that exam, or further on at trial.”

Strampel was released on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.  A condition of his release is that he not have contact with any current or former MSU medical students.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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