The name Larry Nassar is now synonymous with sexual assault. The disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor, who also worked at Michigan State University, made headlines when he was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in a Michigan state prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of sexual assault of minors earlier this year. Nassar’s crimes have been well documented. And his sentencing was a major victory for the hundreds of victims who suffered through sexual abuse at his hands.
Sadly, the horrid story continues.
As Nicole Chavez and Linh Tran of CNN reported yesterday, William Strampel, who is the former dean of MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, has been charged with assaulting students during practice medical exams. According to the report, four female students have accused him of sexual assault, harassment and soliciting nude photos of them. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the allegations, the 70 year-old enticed the young women to work as models for practice medical exams. One of them, a student at Central Michigan University at the time, acted as a model approximately 10 times beginning in 2002. She recalls that the examinations were uncomfortably sexual in nature and that her fears were confirmed when Strampel took her to dinner following one exam and admitted that he was aroused by the process.
Strampel was involved in Nassar’s cover up.
The horrible nature of Strampel’s alleged actions likely doesn’t come as a surprise to Michigan special prosecutor, William Forsyth. He has been investigating just how Nassar was able to abuse more than 200 young girls for over twenty years and get away with it for so long. It is believed that Strampel was a major part of the cover up.
Chavez and Tran note that during Nassar’s trial, many of his victims blamed Michigan State University for dismissing their complaints against him. This allowed for the abuse to continue for many years. According to court documents, Strampel is also facing two misdemeanor charges of willful neglect of duty related to his failure to properly oversee Nassar. He can now add to that a misdemeanor count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for his actions as dean from 2002 to 2018.
Michigan State University is now taking responsibility for its neglect.
As Chavez and Tran report, MSU Board of Trustees Chairman, Brian Breslin issued a statement in January apologizing to Nassar’s victims, acknowledging that the university had failed them. “We must also acknowledge that there have been failures at MSU, not only in our processes and operations, but in our culture, and we are united in our determination to take all necessary steps to begin a new day and change the environment at the university,” the statement read.
Interim university President, John Engler also had this to say in a statement issued last month: “While the crimes of one doctor and the misconduct of his dean do not represent our university, they do demand the scrutiny of everyone in order to assure individuals like these can never be in a position again to harm others.”
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