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William Strampel charged with assaulting students, storing nude photos

LANSING, Mich. -- Former Michigan State medical school dean William Strampel used his position of power to proposition and assault female students and failed at his duty to stop convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar, according to a special prosecutor investigating the university.

Police arrested Strampel on Monday night. He is expected to be arraigned in an East Lansing court Tuesday afternoon and charged with four different crimes, the most serious of which could carry up to a five-year prison sentence if he is found guilty.

Strampel, 70, is charged with misconduct of a public official, fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of neglect of duty for the way he handled complaints against Nassar, the former Michigan State doctor who has been sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing his former patients and other girls. Special prosecutor Bill Forsyth, who the attorney general appointed to investigate the university's handling of Nassar's case, announced the charges against Strampel on Tuesday afternoon.

"Strampel used his office to harass, discriminate, demean, sexually proposition and sexually assault female students," Forsyth said.

The criminal complaint and affidavit, which allege that Strampel solicited nude photos from at least one female medical student, say he "abused the authority of his public office, through threats and manipulation, to solicit, receive, and possess pornographic images of women who appear to be MSU students."

Forsyth and investigators seized Strampel's computer and cellphone in February when they received a credible tip about his behavior.

About 50 photos of female genitalia, nude and semi-nude women, sex toys and pornography were found on Strampel's work computer during a search by the Department of the Attorney General. "Many of these photos are of what appear to be 'selfies' of female MSU students, as evidenced by the MSU clothing and piercings featured in multiple photos," according to the complaint. Also found on the computer was a video described in the affidavit as "Nassar performing 'treatment' on a young female patient."

An Ingham County judge issued a $25,000 personal recognizance bond at an arraignment Tuesday afternoon and said Strampel was to avoid contacting any former or current Michigan State medical students.

"My client denies that he ever engaged in any inappropriate touching of anyone -- any student or otherwise," attorney John Dakmak said after Strampel's arraignment. "He denies that there was any quid pro quo for sexual favors in exchange for any type of standing within the university or the medical school."

Investigators also spoke to a woman named Dr. Nicole Eastman, who told them that Strampel assaulted her by grabbing her buttocks at a university-sponsored ball in 2010. Eastman, who was a student at the osteopathic school of medicine from 2006 through 2010, said she raised concerns about Strampel making inappropriate comments back in 2007 to an employee at the university and was told that his behavior was well known, but no one was willing to stop him.

Eastman said she told Kim Camp, who works in alumni relations, that Strampel made comments to her during her first year at the medical school about how easy it was to get women drunk and about another female student who came to his office in a vulnerable position. Camp told her that most people knew about Strampel's behavior.

"She had a defeated tone to her voice," Eastman said. "'This is how it's been. This is how it was going to be. Nothing changes.'"

The maximum penalty for the charges against Strampel ranges from one year in jail to five years in prison.

"His behavior enabled another sexual predator's behavior," Eastman said. "It's upsetting and it's wrong."

ESPN has obtained copies of former university-conducted performance reviews for Strampel during his time as a dean at Michigan State that contained several complaints about his habit of making inappropriate remarks of a sexual nature in professional settings. The reviews include surveys in which respondents paint a picture of Strampel as a capable fundraiser and decisive administrator but someone who "rules with fear" and regularly interjected sexual innuendo and comments about women's appearance into conversations with students and co-workers.

According to one respondent, Strampel's discussions about his own sexual history and inappropriate comments were "well known and bring down the respect and reputation of the Osteopathic college. I do not think this is a new issue, instead I think it is something that the College has chosen to ignore, for what reason I dare not imagine and cannot fathom."

Strampel's neglect-of-duty charges stem from 2014, when he allowed Nassar to see patients while the former doctor was under criminal investigation. The affidavit also mentioned that Strampel failed to monitor Nassar's conduct on Michigan State's campus after police and a Title IX investigation made recommendations about how he should interact with patients in the future.

Dakmak said that Strampel followed protocol in reporting complaints about Nassar's sexual abuse. When asked why Strampel didn't create ways to make sure Nassar was following the guidelines he agreed to follow after a 2014 Title IX investigation, Dakmak said it was "actually the responsibility of the Title IX investigators. My client was following the investigation of the Title IX investigation."

Forsyth declined to answer questions Tuesday afternoon. He said an investigation "to find out how Michigan State failed the survivors of Larry Nassar" is ongoing. He encouraged anyone with information about Strampel or others at the university who might have acted inappropriately to contact the attorney general's office.

Olympian Aly Raisman, who is a Nassar abuse survivor, responded on Twitter to the latest development.

"Nassar's former boss at MSU, William Strampel, has been arrested. MSU, still refuse to take any accountability?" she wrote. "Yet another painful reminder of the dangers that will remain in these organizations absent a full and independent investigation that looks into everything, not just Nassar. At this point, it's clear that failing to investigate and understand how this abuse could go on for so long is just asking history to repeat itself. What is it going to take?!"

Several other governing bodies are investigating Michigan State for its response to sexual assault on campus.

The U.S. Department of Education is conducting two separate investigations into Michigan State, with one focused on how the school responded to sexual abuse complaints about Nassar and the other a more wide-ranging investigation that includes other reports of sexual violence and criminal activity, including those involving student-athletes. The Nassar investigation, which the department announced Feb. 26, is being conducted by the DOE's Office for Civil Rights. The other investigation, which began Jan. 19, is being conducted by the department's office in charge of enforcing the Clery Act, which requires schools to report and address crimes and crime prevention in and around campus.

In a statement last month, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wrote of the OCR investigation that, "Every student across every campus should know that I am committed to ensuring all students have access to a learning environment free from sexual misconduct and discrimination and that all institutions that fall short will be held accountable for violations of federal law."

A Jan. 19 letter sent to former MSU president Lou Anna Simon from the Clery Act Compliance Division states that in recent months, the division "has identified several areas of potential concern regarding Michigan State that require additional scrutiny," and the review is "separate and distinct" from the Office for Civil Rights investigation.

MSU's Clery Act investigation goes far beyond Nassar, according to sources close to the investigation and people who have already been contacted, including attorneys representing women who have reported being assaulted by football and basketball players. National Coalition Against Violent Athletes founder Katherine Redmond, who works with women who report sexual assault and domestic violence cases involving athletes, also said she has been speaking to Clery Act investigators. In November 2010, Redmond sent a letter to the NCAA referencing 37 reported cases of student-athletes sexually assaulting women at MSU.

"They have asked me about victims, of not just Nassar, but victims that I would know," Redmond said. "They need more victims to come forward. The Nassar victims have come forward. It's the overall system. They need an accounting of victims, period."

Attorney Karen Truszkowski said she also received a call from a Clery Act investigator. She represents a former student who filed a Title IX lawsuit against MSU in fall 2017 stemming from her report of being raped by former MSU football player Keith Mumphery, who was banned from campus in 2016 after the school reversed an earlier finding that Mumphery was not responsible for assaulting the woman. Truszkowski also represents a woman who reported being sexually assaulted in 2017 by three now-former MSU football players, who are currently facing felony sexual assault charges.

In November 2016, a Clery Act investigation at Penn State resulted in a record $2.4 million fine, after the department investigated reports of on-campus sex offenses involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of child molestation in 2012. According to the report, investigators found problems that went beyond Sandusky and involved other aspects of the athletic department and reports of crimes involving student-athletes.

ESPN's Paula Lavigne and The Associated Press contributed to this report.