WSJ article claims Nassar's boss didn't believe female accusers

Published: Mar. 19, 2018 at 11:37 AM EDT
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Larry Nassar might be in an Arizona prison but he is still making headlines across the country.

Monday, the Wall Street Journal printed an article about William Strampel, he was the dean of the osteopathic medical school at Michigan State University from 2002 until he stepped down for medical reasons in 2017, he was also Larry Nassar's boss.

The Wall Street Journal is claiming that in the fall of 2016, Strampel told a group that included students and administrators from MSU, that he did not believe the female patients who alleged sexual abuse by Nassar. This was reported to have happened in a meeting in October 2016, two weeks after Nassar had been fired by Michigan State.

The Journal says that two people told them this, that they heard the comments and that they were present in the meeting.

These two people claim that the meeting wasn't about Larry Nassar and the sexual abuse complaints, but about a male student that had been suspended for allegations of an abusive relationship with a female student, according to the Journal.

The newspaper printed this quote from Strampel: “This just goes to show that none of you learned the most basic lesson in medicine, medicine 101, that you should have learned in your first week: don’t trust your patients,” Dr. Strampel is quoted saying. “Patients lie to get doctors in trouble. And we’re seeing that right now in the news with this Nassar stuff. I don’t think any of these women were actually assaulted by Larry, but Larry didn’t learn that lesson and didn’t have a chaperone in the room, so now they see an opening and they can take advantage of him.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, there is a written account of this meeting and the Journal says that the authors of the written account have confirmed these statements. According to the written account, he added: “As soon as I found out I had to fire his ass. I didn’t want to, but what am I supposed to do?”

According to the paper, an individual present at that meeting said Dr. Strampel’s comments were met with silence, and that person remembers thinking, “He can’t possibly be serious.”

Larry Nassar is serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for child-pornography charges, and up to 175 years for sexual abuse against his patients. He was sentenced earlier this year.

Strampel has been named in more than 100 civil lawsuits as knowing the abuse was going on and not doing anything about it for years. The Michigan Attorney General's office is investigating MSU, trying to discover what they knew and when. The AG's office has requested Dr. Strampel's computer, cell phone and calendar from Michigan State.

John Manly, attorney for more than 140 alleged victims of Larry Nassar, released this statement in response to the article in the Wall Street Journal:

“This eye opening report from the Wall Street Journal makes it clear that a pervasive culture of disregard for sexual assault victims at MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine enabled Larry Nassar’s sexual assault of more than 250 women and girls. President Engler needs to explain to survivors how William Strampel was allowed to protect Larry Nassar for years then remain as Dean for more than a year after Nassar was arrested. Nothing less than full disclosure is acceptable.” A link to the Journal article has been provided here. This is a breaking news story. WILX News 10 is working to get more details on this story, and will update the story as more information becomes available. Stay with News 10 and as we follow this situation. Refresh your page to make sure you are seeing the most current information.