The Latest: Strampel not guilty of felony criminal sexual conduct in the second degree

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LANSING, MI (WILX) - A jury has decided the fate for William Strampel.

William Strampel in court for the sixth day of trial.

A former dean who had oversight of now-imprisoned sports doctor Larry Nassar at Michigan State University has been found guilty of neglect of duty but acquitted on a more serious criminal sexual conduct charge.

William Strampel was also convicted Wednesday of misconduct in office.

Jurors found the 71-year-old Strampel not guilty of felony criminal sexual conduct in the second degree.

He had been accused of abusing his power to sexually harass female students.

On Tuesday, the jury was left to make a decision for four hours and no verdict.

Deliberations continued on Wednesday morning for about an hour and a half.

Both sides made their closing arguments in front of the jury on Tuesday.

The prosecution mirrored their opening statements, talking about power and corruption.

Danielle Hagaman-Clark, the Assistant Attorney General said, ""When we started two weeks ago, I told you a story about how absolute power corrupts absolutely. Over the last week and a half, I've presented the evidence in this case to demonstrate that the defendant had absolute power and control over these women when they were students at MSU COM."

The Assistant A.G. adding that Strampel never mentioned the relevance of the physical exams he performed on two witnesses.

"She was uncomfortable when his fingers were inside her vagina and he locked eye with her. Why was he doing that? I submit to you that there was no other reason for him to do that other than his own sexual gratification."

The defense, using testimony saying that Strampel always used sexually inappropriate language, even in front of his wife.

Adding that in this case, using foul language with a state was not out of the ordinary.

His lawyer, John Dakmak said, "All we're left with is locker room talk, bawdy talk, ribald talk, maybe offensive to some people, maybe not to others, not politically correct talk, and each one of these students gets to move forward."

He added that there was no direct solicitation or follow up from Strampel.

Hagaman-Clark countered by stating that the fact that Strampel said those things while in a professional setting should make him guilty.

"Why should they have to listen to that? They're simply trying to become doctors. They should not have to put up with that in order to become doctors."

Attorney General Nessel released a statement after the verdict came in.

She said, "Today’s verdict sends a clear message: It’s time to change the culture in our schools and medical communities so that our female students and doctors receive the same treatment and respect as their male counterparts. Public officers who brandish their power to demean, insult, harass, objectify, and abuse female students will be held accountable."

She added, "I’m proud of the victims who had the courage to step forward to tell their stories. You helped ensure that William Strampel could no longer wield his power to prey on women. I’m also proud of the officers from the Michigan State Police and the special agents and attorneys from the Department of Attorney General who worked tirelessly on this case for more than a year to see that justice was done. Today, and every day, my office listens, believes – and stands with – victims."

Michigan State University also provided a statement in regards to the verdict.
“Today’s verdict reinforces the need for Michigan State to continue improving the climate for all faculty, staff and students at the university. We will continue addressing the culture that allowed such abhorrent behavior as we work on meaningful actions to be more aware and more accountable. We have improved our dean review process, improved patient-care policies and our College of Osteopathic Medicine is developing a forward-looking strategic plan to improve and assess the educational climate. We know we have more work to do and are committed to the changes needed.”

Sentencing is set for July 31 at 8:30 AM.

NEWS 10's Kellan Buddy was live from the court room - you can follow him on Twitter.

WATCH THE VERDICT HERE

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