Ex-Nassar boss used clinical models with 'sexual intent'

Jonathan Oosting
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Larry Nassar’s former boss at Michigan State University manipulated female students “with a sexual intent” and for his “own sexual gratification,” prosecutors claim in a new court document that includes allegations from two women whom he paid to be nude medical examination models.

William Strampel, ex-Dean of the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, is accused of preying on students and was charged last month with misconduct in office, fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and willful neglect of duty following claims by several young women.

Attorney General Bill Schuette’s Office filed a motion Tuesday to introduce corroborating evidence from two additional women who alleged Strampel paid them cash to act as clinical skills models for examinations that included vaginal and anal penetration.

“It bears the same eerie mark as the conduct of Larry Nassar, employing the cover of legitimate medical procedures, conducted for his own sexual gratification,” wrote Chief Legal Counsel Eric Restuccia.

Prosecutors say one of the women is willing to testify that Strampel privately told her it had “turned him on” and that he was “beginning to get hard” after roughly her 10th model examination in front of a small group of students that included breast, anal and a pelvic examination that included vaginal penetration.

Strampel also told her he liked that she did not have pubic hair, prosecutors said in the filing, submitted in 54-B District Court.

A second woman is willing to testify that Strampel recommended she become a clinical model after she asked him how to get into MSU medical school. After she agreed, he took her alone to a private clinical room and performed a breast and pelvic examination.

During the exam, Strampel noted “that she did not have any pubic hair,” according to the filing. The woman also said: “the only time he looked in her eyes during the exam was while he was penetrating her vagina.”

The woman said Strampel made inappropriate jokes during a second examination by a foreign student and later indicated he would admit her to the medical school if she got a 19 on the Medical College Admission Test, which typically required a score of 25.

Strampel’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The 15-year dean of the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine took medical leave in December amid a widening scandal surrounding Nassar.

A woman who said she met with Strampel in December told David Dwyre, a special agent with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, that the dean was preoccupied with Nassar at the time, according to a report from the Attorney General’s Office filed alongside Tuesday’s motion.

“She said that William Strampel asked her how was he supposed to know what a person was doing in his basement, and said, how would you like it if there was a camera in the room during your doctor visit?”

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

The charges are based on claims by five alleged victims who have accused Strampel of inappropriate behavior, in addition to the two new witnesses whose testimony prosecutors say will prove that he acted with intentionally with sexual motivation.

Authorities say Strampel used veiled threats in an attempt to solicit nude photos from women. The attorney general’s office raided his office on Feb. 28 and discovered “numerous photographs of bare vaginas, naked women, sex toys” and other pornography on his work computer.

“Many of these photographs are of what appear to be “selfies” of female MSU students, as evidenced by the MSU clothing and piercings in the photographs,” Restuccia reiterated in the new motion, noting video of a woman masturbating was also found on Strampel’s computer.

Special Prosecutor William Forsyth charged Strampel in late March as part of what he called an “ongoing investigation” into MSU’s handling of the Nassar scandal. Strampel is also accused of failing to enforce or monitor protocols put in place for Nassar in 2014 after a female patient alleged inappropriate sexual conduct.

Authorities say he allowed Nassar to return to work one month before MSU completed a Title IX investigation into his treatments. The internal probe cleared Nassar of wrongdoing.

Defense attorney John Dakmak has said Strampel intends to fight the charges and expects to prevail in court. A preliminary exam is scheduled to begin June 5.

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

"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," MSU interim President John Engler said in a statement Thursday. "... Any credible allegation coming from any corner of the university will be immediately investigated and acted upon. There will be no more Bill Strampels."

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.