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Trial Begins For Former Dean Of Michigan State University

Opening statements and first witnesses were called yesterday in the criminal trial of the former dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University.  Cheyna Roth was in the courtroom for the case of The People versus William Strampel.

Leah Jackson is an MSU medical student.  She says she went to see then-Dean Strampel when she’d failed required tests to continue on in medical school.  She says their conversation quickly turned to Strampel making inappropriate and sexualized comments.  Jackson says she was blindsided.

“I really was just, ‘Is this really what’s happening?’ You know. I got – I was scared.”

Strampel’s attorney John Dakmak says the comments were taken out of context.

Strampel is accused of misusing his public office.  He’s also charged with failing to properly oversee Larry Nassar after an internal investigation.  Nassar was convicted of sexually assaulting his patients for years.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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