AG: More complaints show MSU dean’s misconduct

Michigan

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Two more women with similar stories about former Michigan State University Dean William Strampel, who’s accused of sexual misconduct, are willing to testify against him in court, a motion filed by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office says.

Strampel was arraigned last month on charges for allegedly groping and harassing female students, soliciting nude photos from female students and stockpiling porn on his university computer. In February, MSU announced its intent to fire Strampel after allowing him to take medical leave in December 2017.

The criminal case involves four victims, but court documents show the AG’s Office wants to include testimony from two more women during Strampel’s preliminary hearing in order to prove that “Dean Strampel is not an amusing, bawdy elder statesman. Rather, he is an ugly predator who used his office to harm young women.”

The women, identified as “Witness 1” and “Witness 2” in court documents, allege Strampel recruited them to be “clinical skills models” for the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, of which he was dean.

It’s common for medical programs to enlist people to act as patients in order for medical students to become more comfortable with doing exams or taking patient histories. 24 Hour News 8 is working to learn how MSU utilizes practice patients.

The documents filed by prosecutors allege neither woman was asked to sign paperwork to take part in the program. Strampel paid them in cash.

Witness 1 told investigators she acted as a practice patient in 2002 after meeting Strampel at a conference. At the time, she was a student at Central Michigan University. The woman told investigators Strampel offered her $100 per hour if she had to be naked for a full-body exam and $50 per hour if it was a vitals exam.

According to interview notes included in the motion, Witness 1 told investigators:

  • She acted as a “clinical skills model” approximately 10 times.
  • Dean Strampel was the only one to ever perform the exams, but did so in front of a small group of medical students.
  • The exams were “head-to-toe” and included a breast, anal and full pelvic exam.
  • Strampel would pay her in cash and would also take her to dinner afterward, at which point he would order “plenty” of alcohol.
  • Among inappropriate comments made to her after approximately the 10th exam, Strampel told the woman he became aroused while performing the exams on her and made inappropriate comments about her body. It was after those comments Witness 1 stopped taking part as a “clinical skills model.”

>>PDF: AG’s motion to include the women’s testimony

Interview notes with Witness 2 are also included in the AG’s motion. She stated Strampel recommended she become a “clinical skills model” in 2006 after she failed to get into the osteopathic medical program and met with him to express her interest in the field.

Shortly after verbally agreeing to take part, interview notes state, Strampel called Witness 2 and requested he conduct a head-to-toe exam on her. She told investigators she assumed it was for demonstration purposes, but said Strampel instead took her to a private room at Fee Hall on MSU’s campus and did a full breast and pelvic exam.

She told investigators she felt Strampel was acting unprofessionally, again making inappropriate comments about her body.

She was contacted again by Strampel later in 2006 and took part in a practice exam done by medical students. Again, Strampel made inappropriate comments and paid her out of pocket, she told investigators.

The woman added she never questioned his actions or told anyone back then because she was “in fear of diminishing her chances of getting into medical school.”

Ultimately, Strampel allegedly told the woman he would accept her into MSU’s program if she scored a 19 on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), despite her believing the average score for acceptance was 25.

Witness 2 told investigators she ultimately attended medical school elsewhere because of Strampel’s behavior.

MSU released a statement regarding the allegations:

“What I continue to learn about Bill Strampel disgusts me. Anytime concerns are raised about faculty and staff behavior, we take those concerns seriously and investigate. We will not let our students and employees down. There is zero tolerance for abusive behavior and comments. We are making changes in our Human Resource policies, including those governing evaluations and reviews.

Any credible allegation coming from any corner of the university will be immediately investigated and acted upon. There will be no more Bill Strampels.”

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