A year ago, the Allegiant Experts Blog dedicated a lot of its posts to the ongoing story of disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor, Larry Nassar. He made headlines for all the wrong reasons. After numerous accusations were levied against Nassar, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual assault on minors – most of which were athletes he was assigned to treat.
There were hundreds of victims, many of whom spoke out at his trial.
Their lives were forever changed in spite of Nassar’s 40 to 175 year sentence in a Michigan state prison. Of course, Nassar wasn’t the only guilty party. Members of both the USA Gymnastics program and Michigan State University were called out for turning a blind eye to Nassar’s heinous actions.
Among them was the former dean of MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, William Strampel. Last year, we wrote a blog that detailed the fact that Strampel, Nassar’s ex-boss, was also accused of sexual assault. A little over a year later, we’ve been given on update on the case. As reported by Al Jazeera News this month, the 71 year-old has been found not guilty of sexual misconduct. However, he will not get off scot-free.
Strampel was found guilty of neglect of duty and misconduct in office.
As the news report details, the ex-MSU dean was the first person charged after Michigan’s attorney general launched an investigation into how Michigan State handled complaints against Nassar. Strampel had been accused of engaging in sexual misconduct against female students and not enforcing patient restrictions imposed on Nassar following a 2014 complaint.
“Jurors found him not guilty of felony criminal sexual conduct in the second degree – a charge that could have sent him to prison for 15 years,” reports Al Jazeera News, “He could still face up to five years in prison on the felony misconduct conviction, which stems from a charge that he used his public office to harass, discriminate, demean, proposition and sexually assault students.”
A clear message has been sent.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel believes that Strampel’s sentencing sends a clear message. “It’s time to change the culture in our schools and medical communities so that our female students and doctors receive the same treatment and respect as their male counterparts,” she offered in a written statement, “Public officers who brandish their power to demean, insult, objectify and abuse female students will be held accountable.”
As the report explains, during Strampel’s trial, multiple former medical students testified about sexual comments he made during their one-on-one meetings. He was accused of staring at their breasts. As well, women who worked as model patients during exams also testified about unprofessional and sexual comments the former dean made.
In addition, it was shown that Strampel willfully neglected his duty to enforce the limits put on Nassar in 2014 after a patient accused the doctor of sexual contact. This included not treating patients near any sensitive areas on the body without a chaperone present.
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