Ex-Michigan State dean William Strampel, Larry Nassar's boss, arrested
Former Michigan State University osteopathic medical school dean William Strampel, 70, has been arrested by Michigan police, and he now faces multiple unspecified charges, including at least one felony.
Strampel was the boss of disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar for most of Nassar's time working at the school before he was fired in September of 2016. He was promoted to his position as dean in 2002 after coming to Michigan State in the 1990s.
Nassar, 54, used his position as a physician to sexually assault more than 260 people, including several Olympic gymnasts, under the guise of medical treatment over the course of roughly two decades.
Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on three counts of child pornography this past December before he was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in state prison on seven counts of sexual assault in January in an Ingham County, Michigan courtroom.
In February, Nassar was sentenced to between an additional 40 and 125 years in state prison on three more counts of sexual assault in an Eaton County, Michigan courtroom. In both his Ingham County and Eaton County sentencing hearings, several of the people he sexually assaulted delivered victim impact statements.
Nassar is currently serving his 60-year federal prison sentenced in United States Penitentiary Tucson in Tucson, Arizona, which is a maximum-security federal prison that offers a sex offender program for sex offenders such as Nassar.
Strampel, who was listed as an inmate at Ingham County Jail on Monday night, had a history of sticking up for Nassar even when several people began to accuse him of sexual assault.
In 2014 when Nassar was investigated by Michigan State's Title IX department as a result of a complaint by Amanda Thomashow, they cleared him of all wrongdoing and told Thomashow that she didn't understand the different between sexual assault and a legitimate medical procedure.
After Nassar was cleared by the school's Title IX department, Strampel allowed him to continue seeing patients under new guidelines despite the fact that he remained under police investigation for this incident until December of 2015. Strampel claimed that the Title IX decision cleared Nassar of all charges.
Here is what these new guidelines were, according to ESPN's Dan Murphy.
"The guidelines included that Nassar should explain fully what he was doing before touching patients near their genitalia or other private areas, that he should avoid skin-to-skin contact whenever possible, and that a chaperone should be present during any such treatment."
Nassar, however, did not adhere to these guidelines, and Strampel never bothered to follow up to see whether or not he was doing so.
In September of 2016 when Rachael Denhollander became the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual assault by telling her story to The Indianapolis Star, reporter Tim Evans emailed Nassar, telling him that he had to ask him some questions.
Strampel emailed Nassar when he found out about this and stated the following:
"Good luck. I am on your side."
In fact, after The Indianapolis Star published Denhollander's story, Strampel emailed June Youatt, Michigan State's executive vice president for academic affairs, and stated the following, according to the Washington Post:
“I expect that this will be all over the paper tomorrow...Cherry on the Cake of my day!!!”
Strampel did end up firing Nassar in September of 2016 after he learned that the guidelines which the two men had formed an agreement on had not been adhered to by Nassar.
If Strampel fired Nassar over the actual assault itself, his comments to a group of students in October of 2016 after Nassar was fired certainly did not show that. Here is what those comments were, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“This just goes to show that none of you learned the most basic lesson in medicine, medicine 101, that you should have learned in your first week: don’t trust your patients. Patients lie to get doctors in trouble. And we’re seeing that right now in the news with this Nassar stuff. I don’t think any of these women were actually assaulted by Larry, but Larry didn’t learn that lesson and didn’t have a chaperone in the room, so now they see an opening and they can take advantage of him. As soon as I found out I had to fire his a**. I didn’t want to, but what am I supposed to do?”
A news conference regarding Strampel's arrested was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.