Former Michigan State osteopathic medicine dean has court hearing for criminal charges

William Strampel accused of sexual assault

William Strampel in court. (WDIV)
William Strampel in court. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – The former dean of the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, William Strampel, is scheduled for a court appearance Wednesday. 

Strampel, 70. faces four criminal charges including a felony misconduct in office charge, a fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charge and two counts of willful neglect all related to former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar. 

Strampel, who is Nassar's former boss, retired earlier this month. He was charged in March after four female students accused him of using his power to sexually assault, harass and solicit nude photos of them, according to court documents.

A judge decided there was enough evidence that Strampel should face trial on charges that include sexual misconduct and willful neglect of duty. Thursday's hearing is to set dates for case moving forward. 

The retirement agreement bars Strampel from receiving emeritus status, which is a traditional honor for retiring faculty. Strampel will also forfeit other benefits related to executive level retirement, but will receive basic retiree health care coverage. 

“As I said before, Strampel has not acted with the level of professionalism expected of an MSU employee, particularly one holding an office with the responsibility of patient safety. His conduct and attitude were unacceptable and went against the values of this university,” interim university President John Engler said. “While completing the tenure revocation process would have been highly satisfying, his immediate retirement means we have achieved the same goal—the end of the relationship between Strampel and MSU.” 

Under the agreement, Strampel will receive $175,000. The final payment represents a compromise of the salary Strampel claims he would have been entitled to over the duration of the lengthy tenure revocation process.  

William Strampel arraigned on charges March, 27, 2018 in East Lansing, Mich. (WDIV)
William Strampel arraigned on charges March, 27, 2018 in East Lansing, Mich. (WDIV)

Complaint details allegations against Strampel

According to the complaint against Strampel, a search warrant was executed in February and 50 photos were uncovered 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.

The collection included a video Nassar performing “treatment” on a young female patient, the complaint said.

The first victim named in the complaint, a 26-year-old student, spoke with the dean about appealing a test score in June of 2011. Strampel denied the appeal. 

He allegedly told her that young women can “put-out” for 20 minutes with an old man and in return get a free vacation. The conversation allegedly turned to the subject of nude photographs.

The second victim was summoned to Strampel’s office after falling asleep during a class in 2011. According to the complaint, the student was asked to turn around in a circle twice so that he “could observe her body,” which allegedly happened multiple times.

Strampel allegedly told the woman she needed to dress sexier if she was ever going to make it in the profession and the degrading of her appearance continued for about an hour.

According to the complaint, when the student went back to Strampel’s office in 2013 to discuss her surgical residency at a local hospital, he told her “what do I have to do to teach you to be submissive and subordinate to men?” 

Strampel allegedly grabbed her buttocks while waiting to get a picture taken at an awards ceremony in 2014.

The third victim told authorities that Strampel suggested she become a centerfold model after struggling with an exam. 

The fourth victim endured similar experiences and alleged Strampel grabbed her buttocks while at the college’s annual ball.

Strampel held the position between 2002 and 2018.

Strampel made comments in support of Nassar in 2016, regarding the allegations of Nassar’s sexual abuse to his patients.

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