Report: Ohio State Doctor Abused At Least 177, Staff Members Failed to Act
On Friday, May 17, Ohio State announced that an investigation had determined that former team doctor Richard Strauss sexually abused at least 177 men at the university. Furthermore, the report revealed that over 50 athletic department staff members knew about the abuse but failed to report it or take any other action to stop it.
The 182-page report explained how Strauss had groped students, asked them to strip with no valid reason during medical examinations, and asked them inappropriate sexual questions, all under the guise of providing medical care.
The university took responsibility in the report, with Ohio State president Michael V. Drake writing that:
The findings are shocking and painful to comprehend. Our institution’s fundamental failure at the time to prevent this abuse was unacceptable, as were the inadequate efforts to thoroughly investigate complaints raised by student’s and staff members.
Ohio State admitted that college staff was aware of allegations against Dr. Strauss as early as 1979. Strauss committed suicide in 2005. In 2018, Ohio State hired an outside firm to investigate allegations against Strauss after several former wrestlers came forward.
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Strauss Opened Own Clinic After Dismissal From Ohio State
In 1996, a student’s allegations of abuse led to an investigation of Strauss by the school. He was dismissed as a team doctor and physician at the health center. However, he kept his tenured faculty position.
Following his dismissal, Strauss opened his own off-campus clinic within a few months. The alleged abuse continued at this clinic.
Legal Action For Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Doctors
Here are some general thoughts on the legal options for doctor sex abuse survivors from attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com:
Several of Dr. Richard Strauss’ victims have filed lawsuits against The Ohio State University, alleging that the school was aware of the doctor’s actions but failed to adequately respond.
Lawsuits are a common way for victims to seek justice in these types of cases. Other high-profile examples include the Larry Nassar gymnastics doctor sex abuse case at Michigan State and the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal at Penn State. Michigan State settled with Nassar’s victims for $500 million, while Penn State has lost over $250 billion in settlements, fines, and legal costs.
If you or someone you love is a survivor of sexual abuse by a university doctor, coach, teacher, or another staff member, you may be able to find justice by taking legal action against the university. Universities have a responsibility to make sure their employees are trustworthy and that their students are safe from sexual predators. Those who fail to do so can be held accountable in civil courts.
You can learn more about your legal options as a survivor of sexual abuse by contacting an experienced sex abuse survivors attorney.
The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, OH
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