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Trial begins for former dean of Michigan State University

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The state Attorney General says a former dean at Michigan State University used his power to try to get sexual favors from female students.

Attorneys made opening statements and questioned the first witnesses in the criminal case against William Strampel Thursday.

Assistant Attorney General Danielle Hagaman-Clark is prosecuting the case. During opening statements she said that witnesses will testify that Strampel made it clear to female students that he had all the power. She says he told students:

“I hold your future in my hands. Because we know he has the absolute authority at that College of Medicine.”

John Dakmak is Strampel’s attorney. He says his client may have said things to students that most people might think are odd or inappropriate. But he says there was never a quid pro quo statement.

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“Yes, my client may have tough conversations with students. And it may be salty, it may be ribald, it may be vulgar. These are not 12-year-old kids, these are adults in medical school.”

Strampel is also accused of failing to properly oversee former M-S-U sports doctor Larry Nassar after an internal investigation. Nassar sexually assaulted his patients for decades.