For­mer Michi­gan State U. dean charged in Larry Nas­sar scan­dal

South Florida Times - - FRONT PAGE -

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The sex­ual abuse scan­dal at Michi­gan State Univer­sity widened Tues­day when au­thor­i­ties charged a for­mer dean with fail­ing to pro­tect pa­tients from sports doc­tor Larry Nas­sar, along with sex­u­ally ha­rass­ing fe­male stu­dents and pres­sur­ing them for nude self­ies.

Wil­liam Stram­pel, 70, is the first per­son charged since an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched in Jan­uary into how Michi­gan State han­dled com­plaints against Nas­sar, who for years sex­u­ally vi­o­lated girls and young women, es­pe­cially gym­nasts, with his fin­gers dur­ing ex­am­i­na­tions.

Stram­pel, who as dean of the Col­lege of Os­teo­pathic Medicine over­saw the clinic where Nas­sar worked, ne­glected his duty to en­force ex­am­in­ing-room re­stric­tions im­posed on Nas­sar af­ter a pa­tient ac­cused the doc­tor in 2014 of sex­ual contact, au­thor­i­ties al­leged.

Nas­sar was not sup­posed to treat pa­tients near any “sen­si­tive ar­eas” on the body with­out a chap­er­one present. Be­cause Stram­pel did not fol­low up to make sure Nas­sar was com­ply­ing, he was able to com­mit a host of ad­di­tional sex­ual as­saults un­til he was fired two years later, prose­cu­tors said.

The crim­i­nal com­plaint also ac­cused Stram­pel of so­lic­it­ing nude photos from at least one fe­male med­i­cal stu­dent and us­ing his of­fice to “ha­rass, dis­crim­i­nate, de­mean, sex­u­ally propo­si­tion, and sex­u­ally as­sault fe­male stu­dents in vi­o­la­tion of his statu­tory duty as a pub­lic of­fi­cer.”

His work com­puter was found to con­tain about 50 photos of fe­male gen­i­talia, nude and semi-nude women, sex toys and pornog­ra­phy, prose­cu­tors said. “Many of th­ese photos are of what ap­pear to be ‘self­ies’ of fe­male MSU stu­dents, as ev­i­denced by the MSU cloth­ing and pierc­ings fea­tured in mul­ti­ple photos,” ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint.

It said the com­puter also had a video of Nas­sar “per­form­ing a ‘treat­ment’ on a young fe­male pa­tient.” It wasn’t im­me­di­ately clear whether the video was con­sid­ered ev­i­dence of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior by Stram­pel. De­fense at­tor­ney John Dak­mak said it most likely was one that Nas­sar widely used to show cer­tain tech­niques.

Stram­pel was ac­cused also of grab­bing two stu­dents’ but­tocks at the col­lege’s an­nual ball and a schol­ar­ship din­ner.

He spent Mon­day night in jail and was re­leased Tues­day on $25,000 bail. The felony and mis­de­meanor charges — mis­con­duct in of­fice, crim­i­nal sex­ual con­duct and two counts of ne­glect of duty — carry max­i­mum penal­ties rang­ing from a year to five years be­hind bars.

“My client de­nies that he ever en­gaged in any in­ap­pro­pri­ate touch­ing of any­one, any stu­dent or oth­er­wise,” Dak­mak said. “He de­nies that there was any quid pro quo for sex­ual fa­vors in ex­change for any type of stand­ing within the univer­sity, or the med­i­cal school.”

The de­fense at­tor­ney also dis­puted the no­tion that Stram­pel ne­glected his duty to over­see Nas­sar, say­ing it was the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the univer­sity’s Ti­tle IX in­ves­ti­ga­tors to en­sure Nas­sar abided by the re­stric­tions on his prac­tice.

Forsyth, who was hired by Michi­gan’s at­tor­ney gen­eral to in­ves­ti­gate the univer­sity, would not dis­cuss the photos on Stram­pel’s com­puter or pre­cisely how Stram­pel ob­tained them.

“This is an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Forsyth said at a news con­fer­ence. “We would en­cour­age any­body with in­for­ma­tion, whether it be about for­mer Dean Stram­pel or whether it’s about any­thing at Michi­gan State that they’re con­cerned about, call the hot­line at the at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice and re­port that.”

Nas­sar, 54, pleaded guilty to mo­lest­ing pa­tients and pos­sess­ing child pornog­ra­phy and was sen­tenced to spend the rest of his life in prison ear­lier this year af­ter roughly 200 women gave pow­er­ful state­ments against him in two court­rooms over 10 ex­tra­or­di­nary days. Stram­pel told au­thor­i­ties in 2017 that he did not check to see if Nas­sar was obey­ing the ex­am­in­ing-room re­stric- tions be­cause Nas­sar had been “ex­on­er­ated” in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by po­lice and the univer­sity. At least 12 re­ported as­saults oc­curred af­ter the probe ended, ac­cord­ing to univer­sity po­lice.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF YOUTUBE.COM

Wil­liam Stram­pel, for­mer Michi­gan State Univer­sity Dean and Larry Nas­sar's boss, Ar­rested.

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