William Strampel, a former Michigan State University dean and the former boss of sexual predator Larry Nassar — the doctor who abused hundreds of women and girls under the guise of medical treatment — has been found guilty of misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty.
Strampel had been accused of sexually harassing and propositioning female students and for failing to enforce restrictions imposed on Nassar after a 2014 sexual misconduct complaint at MSU, according to the Associated Press.
Jurors acquitted him of felony criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, a charge that could have sent him to jail for up to 15 years, for allegedly groping a student, according to the AP. He still faces up to five years behind bars for the misconduct conviction, which stems from a charge that he used his public office to sexually harass, demean, and proposition students, according to the AP. He also was convicted of neglecting to monitor Nassar, which allowed the doctor to continue his abuse.
Strampel’s defense team is “very happy” that Strampel wasn’t convicted of criminal sexual conduct, defense attorney John Dakmak told CNN. Regarding the other convictions, he said, “We are in the very near future discussing whether or not to appeal.”
The charges came as part of Michigan special prosecutor William Forsyth’s investigation into how Nassar — the doctor for the women’s gymnastics team at MSU and for the U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team — abused hundreds of girls and women over the course of more than two decades. Nassar pleaded guilty to charges of criminal sexual conduct and possession of child pornography, and has been sentenced to prison terms that will keep him behind bars for at least 100 years.
“Today’s verdict reinforces the need for Michigan State to continue improving the climate for all faculty, staff, and students at the university,” Michigan State spokeswoman Emily Guerrant told CNN in a statement. “We will continue addressing the culture that allowed such abhorrent behavior as we work on meaningful actions to be more aware and more accountable.”