LANSING, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — A former dean who had oversight of now-imprisoned sports doctor Larry Nassar at Michigan State University is going to jail.
On Wednesday, Judge Joyce Draganchuk sentenced William Strampel to a year in jail for neglect of duty and misconduct in office.
Strampel had faced up to five years in prison for the felony misconduct, which stems from a charge he used his public office to sexually harass students. He also was convicted of willfully neglecting to monitor Nassar.
“He decided to joke about the possibility of seeing naked pictures of me. I was alone with him in a room and there were closed doors. He was in between me and the door. This all happened on the very first day he had met me,” said Leah Jackson at Strampel’s sentencing.
“I have to ask why was he so confident in thinking he could get away with talking about these things with me in a professional academic setting and … it makes me wonder how many other people he has done this to in order for him to have gained this much confidence in thinking he could get away with it. He was supposed to protect us, but he chose to betray us. And he purposely threatened me with inappropriate and very uncomfortable sexual dialogue,” she added.
The former dean of MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine was acquitted of the more serious criminal sexual conduct charge during his trial nearly two months ago.
“What you did was not just inappropriate, it was not just ‘locker room talk’ or unfiltered frankness or toughness. It can’t even be characterized as sexual harassment. You were not convicted of sexual harassment —and that needs to be heard loud and clear — you were convicted for using your position as the dean of the college of medicine to proposition, manipulate and in my view, oppress women,” explained the judge.
Strampel was the first person charged after Michigan’s attorney general launched an investigation in 2017 into how Michigan State handled complaints against Nassar, who pleaded guilty to molesting patients and possessing child pornography.
Michigan AG Dana Nessel issued the following statement following Strampel’s sentencing:
“Today’s sentencing sends a resoundingly clear message to public officials: If you brandish your power to demean, insult, harass, objectify, and abuse women, you will be held accountable.
“We appreciate the court’s decision and commitment to ensuring justice in this case was served. While Mr. Strampel’s sentence will never give back the years of pain and suffering his victims had to endure, the persistence of these courageous survivors made certain that he could no longer hide behind the title he once held to escape the reach of justice.”
— 24 Hour News 8 reporter Lynsey Mukomel contributed to this report.