Ex-students, staff testify in day 4 of Strampel trial


Former students, as well as staff who worked with former Michigan State University Dean William Strampel, took the stand in day four of his criminal trial Tuesday.

>>Day three recap

>>Day two recap

>>Day one recap

Strampel is charged with 2nd and 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, as well as willful neglect of duty, related to the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. Strampel was Nassar’s boss at the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.

‘A firm grab of my butt and a release’

Wednesday’s proceedings began with a second former student, Nicole Eastman, testifying Strampel groped her at a school sponsored event.

“My former dean, William Strampel, came up from behind me and firmly grabbed the right side of my butt,” Eastman said. “A firm grab of my butt and a release…like my husband would grab my butt if we were being intimate.”

Eastman was asked to describe the look on Strampel’s face after she turned around and saw it was him.

“It was a similar look…a boastful, proud, smiley look, which was similar to the one that I recognized when I had a prior encounter at the flu shot clinic at the Capitol Building,” she said.

Eastman did not go into detail about the alleged incident at the Capitol.

Alleged inappropriate comments during exam

That testimony was followed by testimony of another former student, who said Strampel asked her to be a clinical model. She said this was to help other students learn how to conduct medical examinations.

The former student, who 6 News is not identifying because she asked to not be shown on camera, said she served as a model twice. Both times, she said she was paid between $100-120 in cash by Strampel.

The first time she served as a model, the witness said it was just she and Strampel in an exam room together. Strampel said a “head-to-toe” exam would be conducted, including breast and pelvic examinations. She testified while the procedures Strampel did on her were not unusual, his conduct was unprofessional.

“When he was doing my breast exam, he was saying something to the effect of ‘Breasts come in all shapes and sizes.’ And I didn’t know if that had clinical relevance, or if that was just an off-handed comment,” she said. “And then, during the pelvic examination, he made a comment about how I shave my pubic hair.”

The witness also testified Strampel made eye contact with her during the pelvic exam, which she says is something medical professionals are discouraged from doing, as it could make the patients uncomfortable.

Kari Hortos, an Associate Dean in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, also took the stand. Under cross-examination by Strampel’s attorney, John Dakmak, she testified about contracts Strampel would occasionally give to students who failed a class or prerequisite exam. Those contracts, which two former students testified Strampel offered them, said, among other things, if they failed another class, they would be dismissed from the college.

Hortos testified while she has not seen all of the contracts Strampel handed out, she saw several of them. She added Strampel would give those contracts to both male and female students.

One witness who took the stand Monday testified Strampel told her to keep the contract a secret, and, if she did not, he would tell people that she was having sex with him to ruin her reputation.

‘Rare’ to not make sexually inappropriate comments

Margaret Kingry, who works in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, also took the stand. She said she’d been in hundreds of meetings with Strampel, and that it was “rare” that Strampel did not say something sexually inappropriate.

“Just, often, was sort of an off-color, sexually connotation to comments that would be made, on a frequent basis,” Kingry said.

Testimony resumes in Strampel’s trial Thursday morning. 6 News will be in the courtroom for each day of the trial.

***Correction: A previous version of this article stated that these proceedings were day five of Strampel’s criminal trial on Wednesday. It has been corrected to show that it was day four of his criminal trial Tuesday.

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