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Jury deliberations to start on Tuesday in trial of ex-MSU dean

William Strampel
Jodi Westrick
Michigan Radio

A jury is expected to begin deliberations on Tuesday in the trial of former Michigan State University dean William Strampel.

Strampel was the dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at MSU. Strampel is accused of sexual assault, using his position to solicit sexual favors from female students, and failing to properly oversee Larry Nassar. Nassar is the former MSU sports doctor serving a de-facto life sentence for child pornography and sexually assaulting his patients.

The trial has gone on for a little more than a week. Testimony wrapped up after Strampel’s attorney John Dakmak called two witnesses – both former MSU employees.

One witness, Dr. William Falls, is a retired associate dean in the College of Osteopathic Medicine. Falls testified that Strampel would use sexual innuendoes with both men and women.

“I know there were other members of the dean’s staff who were going to talk to him about it,” Falls said. “There [were] also evaluations or surveys that were being done that we did make comments about that language and how it could be detrimental to the college.”

Falls also testified that he was a mandatory reporter, and he never received a complaint from a student that rose to the level of sexual harassment or assault.

Strampel decided not to testify in his own defense at his trial.

“You have the absolute right to testify,” said Judge Joyce Draganchuk, when she made sure Strampel was certain he wanted to waive his right. “Even if your attorney advises against it, the ultimate decision is yours.”

Attorneys for both sides will give their closing arguments before the jury is given instructions and allowed to start deliberating.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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