EAST LANSING, Mich. – A Michigan State University official who oversaw a clinic that employed Larry Nassar was charged Tuesday with sexually propositioning female medical students and compiling nude student “selfies” on his work computer, in the first charges to spring from an investigation into how complaints against the disgraced former sports doctor were handled.
William Strampel, who until December was dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, also was charged with failing to enforce or monitor protocols set for Nassar after a female patient complained of inappropriate sexual contact.
The 70-year-old Strampel, who has been jailed, was scheduled for arraignment in the afternoon. His attorney, John Dakmak, declined to comment.
The complaint, which alleges Strampel solicited nude photos from at least one female medical student, said he used his office to “harass, discriminate, demean, sexually proposition, and sexually assault female students in violation of his statutory duty as a public officer.”
His computer contained approximately 50 photos of female genitalia, nude and semi-nude women, sex toys and pornography. “Many of these photos are of what appear to be ‘selfies’ of female MSU students, as evidence by the MSU clothing and piercings featured in multiple photos,” according to the complaint.
He is also accused of grabbing students’ buttocks on the dance floor at the college’s annual ball and at a scholarship dinner.
The maximum penalty for the charges ranges from one year in jail to five years in prison.
Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to molesting patients and possessing child pornography and is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison. Strampel is accused of letting Nassar continue to treat patients unchecked by protocols that were supposedly put in place — thus allowing Nassar to “commit a host of sexual assaults against new victims until, following news reports of additional allegations against Nassar, MSU finally terminated his employment over two years later,” the complaint says.
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Strampel made comments in support of Nassar in 2016, regarding the allegations of Nassar's sexual abuse to his patients.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Strampel did not believe the hundreds of athletes who accused Nassar of sexual abuse in 2016.
Here is what Strampel said in 2016 when the allegations first came to light:
"This just goes to show that none of you learned the most basic lesson in medicine, medicine 101, that you should have learned in your first week: Don't trust your patients. Patients lie to get doctors in trouble, and we're seeing that right now in the news with this Nassar stuff. I don't think any of these women were actually assaulted by Larry, but Larry didn't learn that lesson and didn't have a chaperone in the room, so now they see an opening and they can take advantage of him.
"As soon as I found out, I had to fire his a--. I didn't want to, but what am I supposed to do?"
The Huffington Post talked with a spokesperson from Michigan State, who said MSU would not speak on behalf of Strampel, but said that John Engler, MSU's interim president, began the process of terminating Strampel's employment in February. That process, however, could take up to one year.
“William Strampel did not act with the level of professionalism we expect from individuals who hold senior leadership positions, particularly in a position that involves student and patient safety,” Engler said. “We are sending an unmistakable message today that we will remove employees who do not treat students, faculty, staff or anyone else in our community in an appropriate manner.”
Strampel stepped down as dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State for medical reasons in December 2016. He had been the dean of that college since 2002.
Nassar was fired from MSU in September 2016 over the allegations of sexual abuse. He was then arrested in November 2016 on charges of child pornography. He was sentenced in January to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing hundreds of gymnasts and other athletes.
Nassar's work with gymnasts began in 1978, and he became an athletic trainer on the U.S. gymnastics team in 1986. He became a team physician and assistant professor at MSU in 1997.