More than 100 former students report sexual abuse by team doctor

Hope Soto
July 23, 2018

Some of the accusers have claimed that US Rep. Jim Jordan of OH - an OSU assistant wrestling coach between 1987 and 1995 - knew about the abuse but did nothing.

Investigators also expect to conduct more than 100 additional interviews and are also "in regular communication" with the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office, Ohio State said.

Strauss joined Ohio State in 1978 and retired as a professor in 1998.

Five former wrestlers filed two class-action lawsuits against Ohio State on Tuesday, charging administrators of failing to act after learning of alleged complaints to the school's athletic and health departments about Strauss' actions more than 20 years ago.

Ohio State confirmed it's investigating allegations against the late Dr. Richard Strauss, which span over three decades. Perkins Coie has worked with Ohio State to release regular updates to the public in order to empower others to determine whether they want to come forward. They include students who, at the time, were varsity players in 14 sports and patients of Student Health Services.

Dr. Richard Strauss. More than 100 former students have provided firsthand accounts of sexual misconduct by Strauss the now-dead Ohio State University team physician at the center of an ongoing investigati

The university launched an investigation into the sexual misconduct and harassment claims against Strauss in April, after a former wrestler said he had been abused as a student.

The lawsuit alleges that despite being repeatedly informed of Strauss' "sexual assault, abuse, battery, molestation, and/or harassment, OSU failed to take appropriate action (or, in fact, any action whatsoever) to stop or prevent Dr. Strauss from continuing his rampant sexual misconduct".

Athletes who alerted officials about Strauss felt their complaints were futile and that the doctor was above the law in the eyes of the university, according to the federal lawsuit filed Monday.

The documentation that ex-student Steve Snyder-Hill obtained from Ohio State this week shows he complained about Strauss by phone - not by letter, as he'd recalled - and heard back from the director, Ted Grace. He declined to comment through a spokeswoman there. He later moved to California, where he killed himself in 2005 at age 67.

Strauss' personnel file at Ohio State indicates he previously did research, taught or practiced medicine at Harvard University, Rutgers University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Washington and the University of Hawaii. Other wrestlers who spoke to NBC News said they believed Jordan must have known of the abuse because Strauss' inappropriate behavior, which ranged from groping during appointments to long showers with the team, was regularly discussed in the locker room. He's said that it was a running joke that no matter what ailment a person asked Strauss to look at, the doctor would always examine his genitals. The UH spokesman said officials found little information related to Strauss beyond employment records saying he was an associate professor for two years starting in 1972.

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