Monday, July 6, 2020

Prosecution, defense give closing statements in trial of William Strampel

June 11, 2019
<p>Defense attorney John Dakmak questions Dr. Nicole Eastman during the trial of Dr. William Strampel, former dean of the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, at the Ingham County Circuit Court on June 4, 2019.</p>

Defense attorney John Dakmak questions Dr. Nicole Eastman during the trial of Dr. William Strampel, former dean of the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, at the Ingham County Circuit Court on June 4, 2019.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

What was expected to be the last day of former dean of the Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine William Strampel's trial began with the prosecutor's closing remarks made by Assistant Attorney General Danielle Hagaman-Clark.

Hagaman-Clark began her statement by explaining that the language, context and interpretation of the evidence provided by multiple witnesses is important to showing Strampel's corruption. She then went through each count that Strampel is being charged with and restated evidence that had been provided throughout the trial.

Strampel is facing two felony charges — misconduct in office and second degree criminal sexual conduct — and two misdemeanor charges, both of willful neglect of duty.

Throughout her statement she repeated phrases that Strampel allegedly said to witnesses, such as "I own you."

"All of these women were chasing their dream of being a doctor. They were all in some way connected to the defendant ... He held the power to stop them from becoming a doctor," Hagaman-Clark said.

Defense attorney John Dakmak began his closing remarks by acknowledging Strampel's comments and choice of words.

"We know that he can be gruff. We know that he speaks his mind. We know that he has the filter of a solider and a physician," Dakmak said.

Dakmak proceeded to explain that "conversations and context do not equal corruption."

Dakmak told the jury that Strampel did not make himself Larry Nassar's supervisor.

“Whenever we mention that man’s name we start thinking about it, but that is not what this case is about,” Dakmak said, referring to Nassar.

Where is the corruption? Because having a soldier's mouth, a sailor's mouth, ain't enough. Where is the corruption?" Dakmak said.

During the last 10 minutes of Dakmak's closing statement, a young woman in the back row held a sign exclaiming "Me Too." However, Judge Joyce Draganchuk could not read it, and determined that the jury would have difficulty reading it as well. The person was removed from the court room during a recess.

Before allowing the jury to deliberate, Hagaman-Clark gave her rebuttal.

"When are we going to start believing victims when they tell us 'somebody grabbed my butt. I know it was a grab'?" Hagaman-Clark said to jury.

Hagaman-Clark ended her rebuttal by declaring that Strampel displayed inappropriate behavior that no one should have to put up with to become a doctor.

After nearly four hours of deliberation, the jury did not come to a verdict.

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