William Strampel's responses to Larry Nassar's e-mails raise major questions
E-mails exchanged between disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician Larry Nassar and William Strampel, who is now the former boss of Nassar and the former dean of Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine, that were obtained this past week through the Freedom of Information Act raise major question marks.
These e-mails, which began after Rachael Denhollander became the first person to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual assault when she took her story to The Indianapolis Star and Tim Evans, a reporter for The Indianapolis Star, told Nassar he had some questions for him, raise a major question mark in regard to Strampel's behavior seeing as how he was just arrested for his own acts of sexual assault in late March.
"Good luck. I am on your side."
"I do wish you luck."
In fact, right after The Indianapolis Star published the accounts of sexual assault at the hands of Nassar that were brought forth by Denhollander and two more of Nassar's former patients on September 12, 2016, Strampel e-mailed Michigan State executive vice president for academic affairs June Youatt, and he 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!!!”
However, three days after The Indianapolis Star published these accounts, Nassar e-mailed Strampel again.
"I have had so many messages of support today and have another 75 more to go through still...National Team Gymnastics Coaches started a legal affidavit about my good character and are trying to get 1000 gymnasts, coaches and parent to sign it and another former national team gymnast that is now a lawyer is preparing another legal affidavit about my morals and ethics and has many people supporting it as well.
"I am trying to take advantage of this time before the 'Me Toos' come out in the media and the second media blitz occurs...the Indy Star will make their next Crucifixion of me on Monday. That is what I am emotionally prepared for."
He added the following later that night.
“I knew the media blitz was going to create more people to call in with accusations about me but this is absurb (sic). I have not been charged with any crime. I don’t understand why this is happening. This is not right...This is not right.”
It was at this point when Strampel's tone changed. Here is what he had to say now.
"There seems to have been more people who have come forward. Also, there is a report of an investigation back in 2004 that I did not hear about. We will talk next week when I am back."
Nassar, however, blamed the media for his demise, just as he did in his previous e-mail to Strampel.
"The media has killed me."
It was after Nassar sent Strampel this e-mail when Strampel responded by letting Nassar know that his days at Michigan State University could be numbered.
"This may not wait until next week...Things are moving beyond my control."
Nassar did end up getting fired.
However, here is where the big question marks come in. While it would seem like Strampel slowly left Nassar's side based on these e-mails, The Wall Street Journal released comments made by Strampel back in October of 2016 to a group of students about why Nassar was fired.
The Wall Street Journal released these comments the week before Strampel was arrested for his own sexual assault.
“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?”
Here are the big questions that have yet to be answered and may not get answered. Is it possible that Strampel, a sexual predator himself, seemed to slowly leave Nassar's side just to make himself look good so that there would be a smaller chance of his own predatory behavior being discovered?
Is it possible that Strampel seemed to slowly leave Nassar's side because he knew what Nassar was up to but knew what he was up to would not be possible to cover up any longer after the report by the The Indianapolis Star? After all, that is when his tone began to change from supportive of Nassar to the opposite.
If that was the case, how long did he know about and cover up what Nassar was up to?
Of course, these are all questions without answers. But given the fact that Strampel's final tone in his e-mails to Nassar in September of 2016 before Nassar was fired does not match his tone when he was discussing Nassar's firing with a group of students in October of 2016, one can only wonder about what key information has still not yet been revealed.
With so many stones still yet to be turned over in regard to this situation and in regard to some of Nassar's other protectors, enablers and defenders, including USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee, these are certainly questions to keep in mind moving forward even though Nassar and Strampel are both behind bars for their predatory actions.
After all, there are still some other notable figures involved in this scandal, such as coach John Geddert, that many people would also like to see behind bars.
Nassar has been sentenced to prison three times since December of 2017. In December, he was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on three child pornography charges. This 60-year sentence is the sentenced that he is currently serving at United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Tucson, Arizona.
In January, Nassar was then sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in state prison on seven sexual assault charges. He was given this sentence after a seven-day sentencing hearing in Ingham County, Michigan. During this sentencing hearing, 156 of the women and girls he sexually assaulted delivered victim impact statements.
Nassar was finally sentenced for the third and final time in February, when he was sentenced to between an additional 40 and 125 more years in state prison on three more sexual assault charges. He was given this sentence after a three-day sentencing hearing in Eaton County, Michigan. During this sentencing hearing, 65 of the women and girls he sexually assaulted delivered victim impact statements.