The former Dean of Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine will serve jail time for his role in the sexual abuse scandal involving Larry Nassar. William Strampel was sentenced last week to a maximum of one year in prison after he was found guilty of criminal misconduct in office and two counts of willful neglect of duty.
In 2014, a student filed a Title IX complaint against Dr. Larry Nassar who, at the time, was working at Michigan State University in addition to his work with USA Gymnastics and many other gymnastic programs on a volunteer and professional basis. The investigation conducted by MSU found no evidence of misconduct. However, following the investigation, Nassar was ordered to follow certain protocols while treating students. Strampel was charged by the University as the individual responsible for supervising Nassar. Two years later, university officials determined that Nassar was not following these protocols and fired him.
A month after Nassar was fired, the first of many criminal charges were filed against him. Once these charges received press attention, dozens of victims began to come forth, and the extent of the sexual abuse that Nassar perpetrated at Michigan State, within USA Gymnastics, and at other organizations, began to come to light. Nassar is currently serving the rest of his life in prison for sexual abuse and possessing child pornography. Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and other organizations affiliated with Nassar are facing hundreds of lawsuits.
Just as troubling came the stories from victims of the numerous times that they had attempted to report Nassar’s behavior to other adults (some affiliated with Michigan State, some not) and how this did not fail to stop the abuse. One victim stated that she disclosed the abuse to another coach with Michigan State University’s Spartan youth gymnastics team, Kathie Klages. Klages failed to inform any officials or law enforcement of the allegation. Rather, she informed the victim that she had “known Larry for years and years,” and said, “He would never do anything inappropriate.” This all occurred in 1997, nearly twenty years before Nassar faced criminal charges.
Strampel is the first MSU official to be convicted as part of the Michigan attorney general’s investigation into Michigan State University and its handling of Nassar. Two other former MSU staff members have been charged by the state attorney general’s office, including Kathy Klages. Klages faces charges for lying about her knowledge of complaints against Nassar. Former university president Lou Anna Simon also faces criminal charges for lying to the police.
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