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Michigan State official who oversaw Larry Nassar faces charges

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The sexual abuse scandal at Michigan State University widened Tuesday when authorities charged a former dean not only with failing to keep sports doctor Larry Nassar in line but with sexually harassing female students and pressuring them for nude selfies.

William Strampel, 70, is the first person charged since an investigation was launched in January into how Michigan State handled complaints against Nassar, who for years sexually violated girls and young women, especially gymnasts, with his fingers during examinations.

Strampel was dean until December of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he oversaw the clinic where Nassar worked, yet he failed to enforce restrictions he imposed on Nassar after a female patient accused him in 2014 of sexual contact, authorities alleged.

Nassar was not supposed to administer any treatment to patients near any “sensitive areas” without a chaperone present. Because Strampel did not follow up to make sure Nassar was abiding by the restrictions, he was able to commit a host of additional sexual assaults until he was fired two years later, prosecutors said.

The criminal complaint also accused Strampel of soliciting nude photos from at least one female medical student and using his office to “harass, discriminate, demean, sexually proposition, and sexually assault female students in violation of his statutory duty as a public officer.”

His computer contained about 50 photos of female genitalia, nude and semi-nude women, sex toys and pornography, prosecutors said. “Many of these photos are of what appear to be ‘selfies’ of female MSU students, as evidenced by the MSU clothing and piercings featured in multiple photos,” according to the complaint.

Strampel was also accused of grabbing students’ buttocks at the college’s annual ball and a scholarship dinner.

Strampel spent Monday night in jail ahead of an arraignment Tuesday afternoon. His attorney, John Dakmak, declined to comment.

The maximum penalty for the charges — misconduct in office, criminal sexual conduct and two counts of neglect of duty — ranges from a year to five years behind bars.

Bill Forsyth, hired as special prosecutor by Michigan’s attorney general to investigate the university, would not discuss the photos on Strampel’s computer or precisely how he obtained them.

“This is an ongoing investigation,” Forsyth said at a news conference. “We would encourage anybody with information, whether it be about former Dean Strampel or whether it’s about anything at Michigan State that they’re concerned about, call the hotline at the attorney general’s office and report that.”

Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to molesting patients and possessing child pornography and was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison earlier this year after roughly 200 women gave statements against him in two courtrooms over 10 extraordinary days.

Strampel told authorities in 2017 that he did not check to see if Nassar was following the restrictions on his practice because Nassar had been “exonerated” in an investigation by police and the university. At least 12 reported assaults occurred after the probe ended, according to university police.

Nassar was fired in 2016 for violating the chaperone rules.

Strampel announced his leave of absence as dean — citing medical reasons — late last year. In February, interim Michigan State President John Engler announced plans to fire Strampel, who still has tenure that protects his employment as a faculty member.

More than 250 girls and women have sued Michigan State, Strampel and other current and former university officials, USA Gymnastics — where Nassar also worked — and others.

John Manly, a lawyer for many of the victims, said his clients were encouraged by the latest arrest.

He said it shows that Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette “is serious about investigating the systemic misconduct at MSU that led to the largest child sex abuse scandal in history and holding the responsible parties accountable.”

USA Track and Field to honor 1968 Olympic team on 50th anniversary

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USA Track and Field begins a campaign this week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Olympic team.

Members of the Mexico City Games team, one of the greatest track and field teams in history, will be honored at high-profile events the remainder of the year.

The campaign, “1968-2018: Celebrating Athletic Achievement and Courage,” culminates with a “Night of Legends” reunion in December at the USATF Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, also attended by current U.S. stars.

The 1968 Olympic team is most remembered for Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who took gold and bronze in the 200m and were sent home after raising their black-gloved fists in a human rights salute during the national anthem.

The team also included gold medalists Bob Beamon (long jump), Dick Fosbury (high jump), Al Oerter (discus), Wyomia Tyus and Jim Hines (100m), Lee Evans (400m), Madeline Manning Mims (800m), Willie Davenport (110m hurdles), Bob Seagren (pole vault), Randy Matson (shot put), Bill Toomey (decathlon) and the men’s and women’s 4x100m and men’s 4x400m.

“The legacy of the greatest track & field team to ever be assembled is still felt 50 years later,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said in a press release. “These Olympians persevered through athletic challenges and social injustices, maintaining their composure and dignity when others may have fallen. It is USATF’s honor to pay homage to their achievements and bring the team together for an epic celebration at our Annual Meeting.”

U.S. track and field athletes will compete at two meets on NBC Sports and NBC Sports Gold this weekend — the Drake Relays and Penn Relays.

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WATCH: NBC Olympics documentary on 1968 Olympics

Paralyzed man walks London Marathon in 36 hours in exoskeleton

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A paralyzed man walked the London Marathon route wearing an exoskeleton suit, finishing around 11 p.m. Monday, nearly 36 hours after he started, according to British media.

Simon Kindleysides was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in April 2013 and was paralyzed from the waist down, he said on the BBC before the race.

“I want to be a role model to my children so they can say their daddy’s been the first paralyzed man to walk the London Marathon ever,” said Kindleysides, a 34-year-old father of three, according to the report.

Kindleysides predicted he would finish in 37 hours, completing the first half of the 26.2-mile race on Sunday, then sleeping a few hours and walking the final 13.1 miles on Monday. Kindleysides said after finishing that he spent 26.5 of those 36 hours walking the marathon.

“Painful, emotional to walk that far in 26.5 hours,” he said. “It feels amazing. So glad I’ve done it. I’m here proving a point, anything is possible.”

Kindleysides said he handcycled from London to Paris for charity two years ago.

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