Former Michigan State University Dean William Strampel, convicted of abusing his position of authority to harass female students, was sentenced Wednesday to one year in jail by an Ingham County court.
Strampel was convicted by a jury in June of misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty, becoming the first person convicted following the state Attorney General’s office’s investigation of MSU following the Dr. Larry Nassar scandal. He will serve his sentence at the Ingham County Jail.
The state’s investigation, which began under former Attorney General Bill Schuette, is still ongoing. Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a statement Wednesday expressing her support for the verdict and sentence.
“Today’s sentencing sends a resoundingly clear message to public officials: If you brandish your power to demean, insult, harass, objectify, and abuse women, you will be held accountable,” Nessel wrote.
“We appreciate the court’s decision and commitment to ensuring justice in this case was served. While Mr. Strampel’s sentence will never give back the years of pain and suffering his victims had to endure, the persistence of these courageous survivors made certain that he could no longer hide behind the title he once held to escape the reach of justice.”
Strampel elected not to address the court during his sentencing, leading Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk to say, “You could at least express sorrow for the impact that it’s had on these people … you don’t have to admit criminal conduct to do that,” according to the Lansing State Journal.
Nassar, whose decades-long pattern of sexual assault launched the state investigation, is currently serving what amounts to a lifetime sentence in prison. Strampel had oversight of Nassar, and the jury agreed with prosecutors that his attitude toward complaints regarding Nassar amounted to “complete indifference.”
Lou Anna Simon, MSU’s former president, is currently facing felony charges for lying to state authorities as part of the Nassar investigation. At the end of July, she resigned from her tenured faculty position. Simon will receive more than $2 million from the university under the terms of her retirement.