Two more former students testified against former Michigan State University Dean William Strampel during day three of his trial.
Strampel faces 2nd and 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct charges, 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.
Testimony Monday focused again on inappropriate interactions Strampel allegedly had with students while he was dean.
The first student to take the stand testified she had failed a class, and met with Strampel to discuss a dismissal notice she’d received from the college for failing a class. The witness said Strampel offered her a contract, which would allow her to continue with her education, provided she did not fail another class. She also said Strampel told her if she did not keep the contract a secret, he would tell people that she was having sex with him to ruin her reputation.
The witness said she did not report these comments, as she felt she wasn’t in a position to do so because Strampel was doing her a favor.
During a later meeting, after the witness failed another class, Strampel was recorded saying he’d allow her to continue, but if he made this exception, he’d “own” her. The witness said Strampel told her this meant “If he asked me to come over to my house, I would do that. If he asked me to weed his garden, I would do that.”
When asked by Assistant Attorney General Danielle Hagaman-Clark how she felt in that moment, the witness said “Cornered. I mean, I just feel like I didn’t really have any other option. I didn’t really know what to really say.”
However, Strampel’s attorney, John Dakmak, mentioned in the recording the witness made of the meeting, she sounded relieved. The witness said she was happy to be able to continue with classes, however, you could hear the desperation in her voice prior to his decision. She also said she took the statement about Strampel “owning” her as being said in a sexual manner, based on what was said at the previous meeting.
Dakmak also asked her if Strampel ever contacted her out of the blue to have her do favors or work for him, or if he ever propositioned her for sex. The witness said no.
Another former student, Dr. Jessica Neuroth, testified Strampel told her to “dress sexier” in one meeting, and, in another, asked her “What do I need to do to teach you to be submissive and subordinate to men?”
Neuroth said after this, she was posing for a photo with Strampel and the donor of a scholarship she received at a banquet. As the photo was being taken, Neuroth says Strampel grabbed her left buttock.
Shortly after the banquet, Neuroth testified she at a luncheon, and having a conversation with Strampel’s wife. Neuroth claims Strampel walked up to them and looked at her inappropriately.
“He was looking at me from my chest, to my crotch and back again. And I asked him, because i was feeling very uncomfortable, to just look at my eyes,” she said. “And at that point, Dean Strampel said to me ‘Eye candy is eye candy.’ “
Neuroth said she did not report those incidents to anyone at MSU, or any law enforcement until 2018, four years after the incidents took place.
Strampel’s former executive assistant, Kimberly Lamacchia, also took the stand. She testified no female student who met with Strampel ever told her about him acting inappropriately.
Testimony resumes at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. 6 News will be in the courtroom each day of the trial.