A Michigan State University official who supervised sexual abuser Larry Nassar has been charged with sex crimes of his own. Nassar, a former MSU and USA Gymnastics Olympic team doctor, was sentenced in January to up to 175 years in prison for sex crimes.
William Strampel is the former dean of MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. He was charged Tuesday with sexually harassing female medical students. He also faces charges of failing to enforce rules set for Nassar after a female patient reported sexual contact during treatment in 2014.
Investigators also found nude student “selfies” on Strampel’s work computer, as well as images of female body parts, sex toys and pornography.
Strampel, who is 70 years old, served as dean of the college from 2002 to December 2017.
The charges against Strampel are part of the Michigan government’s investigation into MSU’s possible involvement in Nassar’s crimes. Nassar worked at MSU from 1997 until his dismissal in September 2016.
Hundreds of women and girls accused Nassar of sexually abusing them during what they believed to be medical treatments. Many of them say they were abused at MSU.
Nassar admitted guilt to abusing patients and possessing child pornography. He is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Strampel is accused of letting Nassar continue to treat patients without following rules that were supposedly put in place. This permitted Nassar to carry out “sexual assaults against new victims,” the complaint against Strampel says.
Strampel announced in December that he would take temporary leave from MSU for medical reasons.
After the report in 2014, Nassar was ordered to always have a third person in the room when treating “anything close to a sensitive area.” Nassar was also required to avoid “skin-to-skin contact” with patients. And he was ordered to explain in detail his treatment plan before carrying it out.
Nassar was dismissed in 2016 for violating those rules. A few weeks earlier, former gymnast Rachael Denhollander officially accused Nassar of sexually abusing her more than 15 years earlier.
Strampel told an MSU investigator and FBI agent in 2017 that he did not check to see if Nassar had been following the rules.
Almost all of Nassar’s known victims say he touched [them] in and around their private areas without wearing gloves. They also said he did not explain the invasive treatment before acting. Many of the patients were children at the time of the abuse.
More than 250 girls and women have taken legal action against Michigan State, Strampel, and other current and former university officials, as well as USA Gymnastics.
John Manly is a lawyer for many of the victims. He said his clients were pleased that Strampel was being charged. He said it demonstrates that the Michigan attorney general’s office is, in his words, “serious about investigating the systemic misconduct at MSU that led to the largest child sex abuse scandal in history and holding the responsible parties accountable.”
I’m Ashley Thompson.
The Associated Press reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.
Words in This Story
harass - v. to make unwanted sexual comments or advances
nude - adj. of or involving people who have no clothes on
dean - n. a person who is in charge of one of the parts of a university (such as a college or school)
pornography - n. movies, pictures, magazines, etc., that show or describe naked people or sex in a very open and direct way in order to cause sexual excitement
assault - n. the crime of trying or threatening to hurt someone physically
glove - n. a covering for the hand that has separate parts for each finger
misconduct - n. wrong behavior : behavior or activity that is illegal or morally wrong
scandal - n. an occurrence in which people are shocked and upset because of behavior that is morally or legally wrong