NewsLocal News


Judge denies request for dropping charges in Strampel case; allows more witnesses

Posted: 10:44 PM, Nov 07, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-08 06:18:01-05

A judge handed down two rulings in the case against William Strampel, the former Michigan State University Dean charged with criminal sexual conduct.

Judge Joyce Draganchuk first refused to dismiss the charges. Then, she agreed to let prosecutors bring in more witnesses who claim Strampel manipulated them for sexual favors.

"The theme is not just the sexual intent, but its the domination, the subordination," Eric Restuccia, who is Chief Legal Counsel for the Attorney General's Office said.

Strample's lawyers tried to get the judge to block the new witnesses. But prosecutors successfully argued that the women should be allowed in court to help show a pattern of behavior that proves Strampel is a serial offender.

"Dating back into the 80s when he was in the US Military he was offending against women then, and he continued to do so, we believe at Michigan State University," Andrea Bitely, Director of Communications for Attorney General Bill Schuette said.

"It has a tendency to show he is willing to and does manipulate young women who are in a situation of vulnerability," Judge Draganchuk said.

The judge didn't give them everything they wanted. Prosecutors asked they be allowed to admit pictures of naked or partially naked women found on Strampel's computer. They were told to file a separate motion for that. In addition, other witnesses were not allowed to testify due to "relevancy." But prosecutors say the new witnesses will prove Strampel took advantage of women by demanding sexual favors in return for help with their academic careers.

"Women who wanted nothing more than to become doctors, and that's really what this was about. It's about those who wanted to help others in their careers," Bitely added.

Strampel's lawyer asked the judge to dismiss the charges against him on the grounds that his former job as dean of the College of Human Medicine did not qualify him as a "public officer." The judge turned him down.

We'll let you know when the case goes to trial.

Strampel's lawyer would not comment on the hearing. His client faces up to five years in prison if convicted.