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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.”

Tahiti chosen for Olympic surfing competition at 2024 Paris Games

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Paris 2024 Olympic organizers want the surfing competition to be held in Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia that is about 9,800 miles from Paris.

It would break the record for the farthest Olympic medal competition to be held outside the host. In 1956, equestrian events were moved out of Melbourne due to quarantine laws and held five months earlier in Stockholm, some 9,700 miles away.

The Paris 2024 executive board approved the site Thursday — specifically, the village of Teahupo’o — and will propose it to the IOC. It beat out other applicants Biarritz, Lacanau, Les Landes and La Torche, all part of mainland France.

Surfing will debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games but is not on the permanent Olympic program. Surfing was among sports added to the Paris 2024 program in June and could be added for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

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Adam Jones, five-time MLB All-Star, becomes Olympic eligible

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Should the U.S. qualify for baseball’s Olympic return, a five-time MLB All-Star could be eligible for its roster in Tokyo. And he has interest.

Outfielder Adam Jones signed with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s domestic league, which, unlike MLB, will take an Olympic break next summer to allow players to take part in the first Olympic baseball tournament in 12 years.

Jones, 34, made no mention of Olympic eligibility in a social media post announcing the signing. His Instagram avatar is a photo of him in a Team USA jersey from the World Baseball Classic.

Jones’ agent later said that Jones does have interest in playing for the U.S. in Tokyo, should an American team qualify in the spring.

“To play over in Japan has always been a desire of Adam’s, and the timing worked out that the Olympics happens to be played in Tokyo the first year of his contract,” Jones’ agent wrote in an email. “It wasn’t one of the factors on his decision BUT more of a [sic] addition to the overall package to decide to go.”

Jones called being part of the U.S.’ 2017 WBC title, “probably the best experience of my life so far, especially with sports,” according to The Associated Press. He was one of five players to be on the U.S. team at each of the last two World Baseball Classics.

The U.S. still faces a difficult task to qualify for the Tokyo Games. It lost to Mexico last month in its first of up to three chances at qualifying tournaments, using a roster of mostly double-A and triple-A caliber players.

Major Leaguers are not expected to be made available for qualifying or for the Tokyo Games.

The next two qualifying tournaments will be in late March (an Americas qualifier in Arizona) and early April (a final, global qualifying event in Chinese Taipei). It remains to be seen how MLB clubs will go about releasing minor leaguers for a tournament that will take place during spring training.

Jones could become the third player with prior MLB All-Star experience to compete at the Olympics from any nation, joining Australian catcher Dave Nilsson and Canadian pitcher Jason Dickson.

Jones made five All-Star teams during an 11-year stint with the Baltimore Orioles from 2008-18 before playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.

Many players competed at the Olympics before making an MLB All-Star team, including Stephen Strasburg and Jason Giambi.

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