Former Ohio State University athletes who allege they were sexually assaulted by team doctor Richard Strauss may soon get justice – if the parties can agree on a mediator.
Strauss, a former team doctor with the Ohio State University athletics program and a physician at the OSU student health service center, is said to have sexually abused student-athletes – including players on the men’s wrestling and hockey teams – between 1978 and 1998. An investigation also suggests that he sexually assaulted students at a private off-campus clinic he operated.
Accusations against Strauss follow similar actions against Michigan State University and U.S Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar and University of Southern California health center gynecologist George Tyndall. To date, more than 150 individuals have accused Strauss of misconduct, resulting in several civil lawsuits against the university. A mediation proceeding was scheduled to begin on February 16, but an Ohio federal court has now imposed a March 12th deadline for the parties to agree on a mediator and move the case forward.
Strauss died by suicide in 2005, so the litigation alleges that despite knowledge of his alleged behavior, Ohio State University, athletic director Andy Geiger, and others failed to take appropriate action to stop and prevent the doctor’s rampant sexual misconduct. According to the lawsuits, OSU athletes felt that their complaints of sexual abuse were “futile” and that Strauss “was above the law and above reproach in the eyes of Ohio State.”
OSU has indicated it would cover the cost of professional counseling for those whom Strauss abused, and additional damages may be available. If you were a victim of Dr. Strauss and have not yet joined the litigation, you need to step forward now to protect your right to recovery.