Order shields identities of Strampel accusers

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

East Lansing — The identity of the women whose complaints prompted charges against Larry Nassar’s former boss will remain protected throughout the court case, according to an order signed Monday by 54B District Judge Andrea Larkin.

The protective order is largely procedural and will shield the women’s personally identifying information —such as names, addresses, and social security numbers — from disclosure. Any documents containing such information will remain under seal, according to the order.

The “high-profile nature” of the case could expose witnesses to excessive media scrutiny, embarrassment, intimidation or threats, a memo from the Attorney General’s office said.

The order protects the four women who have accused William Strampel of inappropriate and even criminal behavior as dean of Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Strampel was arraigned in late March on felony charges of misconduct in office and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, and two misdemeanor charges of willful neglect of duty.

Prosecutors alleged Strampel used his position as dean to harass, discriminate, proposition, sexually assault and solicit pornographic images and videos of female students.

Nicole Eastman has acknowledged publicly that she is victim No. 4 in the complaint. Eastman said Strampel spoke inappropriately to her while she was a student in the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine in the mid-2000s and grabbed her butt at a ball.

Authorities said Strampel, who has been on medical leave since December, allowed Nassar to return to work one month before MSU completed a Title IX investigation into reports from a female patient who said Nassar touched her inappropriately. Nassar was cleared of wrongdoing following the internal probe in 2014.

Strampel’s attorney, John Dakmak, has said Strampel intends to fight the charges. The former dean has a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.

Last month, MSU Interim President Engler submitted a request to the Office of Provost beginning the process to revoke Strampel’s tenure and announced that MSU would not cover any of Strampel’s legal expenses related to the Nassar sexual assault scandal.

Strampel has been named in lawsuits filed against MSU and Nassar.

Nassar, a former sports doctor for MSU and USA Gymnastics, is accused of sexually abusing more than 250 women over more than two decades under the guise of performing medical treatment. He is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of sexual assault and child pornography charges.

(517) 371-3661