Ohio State University released a damning report of a former doctor at their school, stating he sexually abused at least 177 male students over his two decade career.
Dr. Richard Strauss — who took his own life in 2005 — committed the abuse from 1979 to 1999, according to the report. This encompassed almost his entire time working at Ohio State.
The abuse occurred both on-campus and at his own off-campus clinic. He abused male athletes from 16 different sports.
Elsewhere in the report, there is also acknowledgement that university officials knew of Strauss’ crimes and did little to nothing to stop him.
Victims of Strauss said he both touched them inappropriately during physical and medical exams, as well as ogled them.
Some students discussed what happened to them as ‘hazing’ or a ‘rite of passage’. Students considered it an open secret and many athletes believed their teachers and coaches knew about the inappropriate behavior and abuse.
Other students event referred to Strauss as ‘Dr. Jelly Paws’.
What the university says
‘We hope that the report will force OSU to take responsibility for its failure to protect young students,’ said Steve Estey, an attorney for some of the victims suing.
‘If OSU refuses to take responsibility, we will continue with civil litigation and put this in front of a jury for 12 people to judge their actions.’
Ohio State President Michael Drake offered ‘profound regret and sincere apologies to each person who endured Strauss’ abuse’ when the report was issued.
When the allegations came out while Strauss was alive and worked at the school, he pleaded to keep his job. While he was eventually let go as a team doctor and physician, he retired with emeritus status.
The university confirmed they will be revoking this honor.
Strauss’ crimes are nearly on par with Larry Nassar of Michigan State University, who is currently serving life in prison for sexually abusing more than 250 women and girls in gymnastics.
This is a horrifying reality that is becoming more and more uncovered and common across US campuses.
A gay former doctor at USC now faces 50 accusers of sexual abuse. This doctor’s accusers came forward following a prior lawsuit accusing a USC gynecologist of sexual abuse. The university moved forward with a $215-million-class-action settlement in that case.