Former Michigan State University dean William Strampel was found guilty Wednesday of misconduct and neglect in connection to his role in the Larry Nassar scandal, becoming the first current or former school official to be convicted in the wake of that investigation.
The Lansing State Journal reports that Strampel, formerly the dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State, abused his power with regard to female medical students and reacted with “complete indifference” to protocols intended to shield the university after a sexual assault complaint against Nassar emerged in 2014.
Strampel was exonerated on one charge of criminal sexual conduct related to a groping allegation during a scholarship event.
Prosecutors argued that in the wake of the 2014 allegation against Nassar, despite a Title IX investigation finding Nassar didn’t violate policy, Strampel was tasked with ensuring Nassar followed new protocols for sensitive examinations. Those protocols included wearing gloves, not being alone in the room with a patient, and obtaining informed consent for exams. Prosecutors suggested that it was Strampel’s duty to ensure those protocols were in place, but he failed in that duty.
Defense attorney John Dakmak suggested that his client was being made a scapegoat for Nassar’s abuse.
In addition to the Nassar-related claims, two women testified that they had been recruited by Strampel to be “standardized patients,” which required them to remove their clothes to help demonstrate sensitive exams. Both said that Strampel’s behavior toward them while they were in that role was inappropriate.
A third woman, a former medical student, claimed that Strampel had served as her attending physician during a month-long rotation, and flunked her after she rebuffed his advances.
The Michigan Attorney General’s office has charged two other former Michigan State officials — former gymnastics coach Kathy Klages and former president Lou Anna Simon — in connection to the Nassar case. Klages’ case is pending in circuit court, while Simon faces a preliminary hearing on whether she will stand trial.