Larry Nassar’s former boss accused of sexually assaulting female students
Larry Nassar’s former boss at Michigan State University used his power to sexually harass, assault, and solicit nude photos from female students, according to a criminal complaint.
William Strampel, the former dean of MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, has been charged with one felony count of misconduct in office, according to court documents.
He is also charged with three additional misdemeanor charges: one charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and two charges of willful neglect of duty, court documents state.
The criminal complaint details statements from four female students who described disturbing instances of Strampel’s abuse of power in the time he served as dean, from 2002 to 2018.
He groped women’s buttocks at events and demeaned the way they dressed, the complaint states. In one 2013 incident, Strampel allegedly told a female student she needed to learn her place in life, and asked her, “What do I have to do to teach you to be submissive and subordinate to men?”
A search of his office computer in February 2018 discovered about 50 photos that contained nudity and pornography, many of which appear to be selfies of female MSU students, the complaint states. Forensic examination of the computer show someone had attempted to delete some of the photos, the complaint states.
Investigators also uncovered pornographic videos on his work computer, as well as a video of Nassar performing his so-called “treatment” on a young female patient.
The discovery came as part of the state attorney general’s investigation into how Nassar, the former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor, was able to abuse more than 200 young girls and women over more than two decades. Nassar pleaded guilty to charges of criminal sexual conduct and child pornography and was sentenced to three lengthy prison terms that effectively will keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.
Strampel is expected to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in East Lansing via video link. CNN has reached out to his attorney for comment but has not yet gotten a response.
MSU moved in early February to revoke the tenure of Strampel, who stepped down from the dean position in December, citing health problems.
John C. Manly, an attorney who represents more than 100 women in civil lawsuits related to the Nassar case, said his clients were “encouraged” by the attorney general’s action.
“It demonstrates that he is serious about investigating the systemic misconduct at MSU that led to the largest child sex abuse scandal in history and holding the responsible parties accountable,” Manly said.
‘Failure to monitor’
A letter from Carol Viventi, vice president and special counsel to interim Michigan State President John Engler, called out “Dr. Strampel’s failure to monitor and enforce clinical practice guidelines put in place for former doctor Larry Nassar following the conclusion of a 2014 sexual harassment investigation.”
That case concerned Amanda Thomashow’s 2014 report to MSU officials in which she said Nassar touched her vagina and her breasts during a doctor’s visit. Nassar told police and Strampel that this was part of his cutting-edge medical procedure, and he was cleared of wrongdoing.
According to Viventi’s letter, Strampel issued new guidelines for Nassar after the investigation, but did not notify the MSU Health Team or establish a system to monitor or enforce those guidelines. Nassar abused more young girls from the time he was cleared until his arrest in late 2016.
“It would be incompatible with the expectations for teaching and clinical faculty within the College of Osteopathic Medicine for Dr. Strampel to resume his faculty appointment given his lack of action described above,” Viventi’s letter stated.
Still, Strampel remains a tenured professor and can only be dismissed if a faculty hearing committee finds cause exists to revoke tenure. MSU has begun the process of revoking Strampel’s tenure, the MSU spokeswoman said, adding that the process can take six to 12 months.
The Michigan Attorney General’s Office is scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon, at which special prosecutor William Forsyth will provide an update on his investigation into how Nassar could have sexually abused girls and young women for nearly 20 years without the school intervening.
In court, Nassar admitted to using his trusted position as a doctor to sexually abuse young girls for more than two decades. Scores of them came forward and told heart-wrenching stories of his abuse, and several blamed Michigan State University for dismissing their complaints and failing to stop him.