Larry Nassar's Former Boss Is Going To Jail

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Photo: Michigan Attorney General’s Office

William Strampel, the former dean of Michigan State’s osteopathic medical school, was sentenced in Ingham County Court today to up to a year in jail, after he was convicted in June on charges of neglect of duty and misconduct in office. As dean, Strampel was the boss of Larry Nassar, who’s currently spending the rest of his life in prison for molesting hundreds of women and young girls in his care. His charges stemmed from both his mishandling of Nassar and his own inappropriate behavior towards female medical students.

Strampel, now 71 years old, was accused by four female students of sexual misconduct back in March 2018. When meeting with female students, the women said, Strampel sexually harassed them and propositioned them for sex in exchange for preferential treatment. (He was also accused of groping a medical student at a school event, but the jury found him not guilty on a charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.)

Michigan State had heard accounts of Strampel’s illegal behavior as far back as 2015, when a five-year review uncovered “several accounts of inappropriate remarks and a number of concerns about uncouth and sometimes offensive language,” according to MSU Provost June Youatt. Strampel was reappointed to another term as dean anyway.

With regards to Nassar and the neglect of duty conviction, Strampel displayed what prosecutors called “complete indifference” over whether or not Nassar was following protocols put in place in 2014, after one of Nassar’s patients filed a Title IX complaint with the University. Nassar was suspended from work while MSU investigated, but he was allowed to return with safety guidelines in place, including having another person present in the room when Nassar performed sensitive procedures. According to MSU police in December 2017, at least 12 reported assaults occurred after Nassar returned to work, with many happening in MSU examination rooms without a chaperone present.

Strampel is the first MSU official to be sentenced following the Michigan Attorney General’s investigation into the university’s handling of Nassar. Former MSU President Lou Anna Simon and former gymnastics coach Kathie Klages are facing charges of lying to police about their knowledge of Nassar.

At Strampel’s sentencing on Wednesday, two women gave victim-impact statements. Priyanka Pandey, in a written statement read by the Assistant Attorney General, said that Strampel’s sexual comments and threats to ruin her reputation led to depression and anxiety. In the courtroom, Leah Jackson questioned how Strampel could be so confident that he could get away with his “deliberate choice” to sexually harass students.

“He was supposed to protect us, but he chose to betray us,” Jackson said.