EAST LANSING, Mich. >> A former medical school dean at Michigan State University was ordered to trial today on criminal charges that grew from the investigation of disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar.
Three women, including two current medical students, told a judge about sexual harassment by William Strampel, including bawdy talk about sex and nude photos and a groping incident. Investigators found about two dozen sexually explicit photos and videos on his campus computer and a hidden camera in his office.
Strampel, 70, was dean of the osteopathic medical school until December. He continues to collect a salary while Michigan State tries to yank his tenure and fire him.
A medical student told Judge Richard Ball that she felt “trapped” in Strampel’s office as a conversation about a bad test score turned to nude photos.
“I was very scared. … Almost went into a survival mode as there was no one in the room with us. There was no one in the adjacent room,” the woman testified.
Another woman said Strampel firmly grabbed her buttocks at a scholarship dinner “like you would hold a baseball.”
The Associated Press is not naming the women at the request of prosecutors.
Strampel was ordered to trial on a high misdemeanor and misconduct in office, a felony. Two other misdemeanors are also part of the case.
“Dean Strampel had too much power and too much ego and attempted to use those things in a corrupt fashion to young ladies that are coming into his office who are having some academic issue,” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Rollstin.
Strampel also had oversight of Nassar, a campus doctor who regularly treated female gymnasts. Strampel is accused of failing to ensure that Nassar was following restrictions that were ordered in 2014 as a result of sexual assault allegations. Nassar is serving decades in prison for assault and child pornography crimes.
Strampel’s attorney, John Dakmak, said he wasn’t surprised that his client was ordered to trial. The evidence burden at this stage is low.
“There’s much more to come. There’s going to be more to be told in circuit court,” Dakmak said.