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Former MSU dean to serve one year in jail

William Strampel
Jodi Westrick
Michigan Radio

One year. That’s how long the former dean of Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine was sentenced to spend in jail on Wednesday.

William Strampel wasconvicted of using his position as dean to try to solicit sexual favors from students, and other charges.

Leah Jackson is one of Strampel’s victims. She said during her victim impact statement that when she met with Strampel about her position at the college, Strampel talked to her about naked pictures – and about women her age having sex with older men.

“I have to ask, why was he so confident in thinking he could get away with talking about these things with me in a professional, academic setting?” Jackson told Judge Joyce Draganchuk, who decided Strampel’s sentence.

John Dakmak, Strampel’s attorney, argued that Strampel should only get probation.

“We understand that he has been found guilty for his conduct and he has to answer to that,” Dakmak said before Draganchuk handed down her sentence. “But to answer for that doesn’t mean that we disregard the lifelong service that he’s provided to his nation and to Michigan State.”

Draganchuk said she was disappointed Strampel didn’t express sorrow for the impact his behavior had on the victims.

william strampel and lawter standing in court room.
Credit Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
William Strampel in the courtroom on Wednesday, August 7, 2019.

“Now maybe you don’t oppress all women, and that point’s well made,” she said. “But in this case you oppressed these women.”

Strampel was also convicted by a jury of two misdemeanors for failing to properly oversee former MSU sports doctor, Larry Nassar. Nassar was convicted last year of sexually assaulting his patients for decades.

The breakdown of the charges and sentences are as follows:

  • 11 months for the felony charge of misconduct in office
  • 1 year each for the two misdemeanor charges of willful neglect of duty

But because the judge sentenced Strampel to serve his sentence concurrently, he will serve all of his time at once, effectively making his total sentence one year in jail, minus one day for time already served.

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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