By staff writers

February 9, 2018 -- The chairman of the department of radiology at Michigan State University (MSU) has been suspended in the wake of the sexual abuse case of USA Gymnastics team physician Dr. Larry Nassar, according to a news report by CBS.

The February 9 news report said that university officials suspended Dr. Suresh Mukherji, who serves as chairman of the department as well as chief medical officer of MSU HealthTeam, the university's medical practice. The university is also moving to fire the former dean of its osteopathic medicine college, Dr. William Strampel.

Nassar served as an osteopathic physician at MSU and was also team doctor for the USA Gymnastics program. On January 24, he was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted gymnasts in the program. He was sentenced to an additional 40 to 125 years in prison on February 5 for additional charges in connection with the case.

Fallout from the Nassar case has spread to MSU due to allegations that the university did not respond adequately to complaints about Nassar's behavior. The university reportedly received a sexual-abuse complaint about Nassar in 2014, but it cleared him after conducting an internal investigation and putting in place new protocols governing how he saw patients, according to CBS. An investigation by MSU police in 2017 discovered that at least 12 more assaults occurred after he was cleared.

CBS reported that Mukherji was "interviewed last March as part of an investigation into restrictions that were supposed to have been put on Nassar." Mukherji allegedly was in the "chain of command" between Strampel and Nassar, according to the CBS story, but Strampel and another physician performed most of the day-to-day supervision related to MSU's sports medicine department.

An article in the Lansing State Journal claimed that Mukherji was suspended for not complying with a February 5 directive by John Engler, the university's interim president, to preserve documents and cooperate with investigations into Nassar. Both Mukherji and Strampel wrote the letter in September 2016 terminating Nassar's employment with MSU after he failed to follow the protocols aimed at preventing abuse.

Copyright © 2018

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