Ohio State Officials Knew About Ex-Team Doctor Richard Strauss' Sexual Abuse

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 17, 2019

This May 8, 2019 photo shows a sign for Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. On Friday, May 17, 2019, the school said at least 177 men were sexually abused by Ohio State team doctor Richard Strauss who died years ago, according to findings from a law firm that investigated the accusations, concluding that school leaders knew at the time. (AP Photo/Angie Wang)
Angie Wang/Associated Press

An independent law firm determined leaders at Ohio State University were aware of former team doctor Richard Strauss' sexual abuse of patients during his time at the school. 

Per the findings released by Perkins Coie on Friday (h/t ESPN.com), it was determined school leaders knew of Strauss' abuse of at least 177 men, including athletes from 16 different sports and patients at Ohio State's student health center and his own off-campus clinic between 1979-97. 

The victims initially alleged in lawsuits against the school "two athletic directors and a coach who is now a congressman," among over 20 staff members, knew of and failed to halt the abuse. No names of leaders to have known of the abuse were released from Perkins Coie's report.

Ohio State president Michael V. Drake issued a statement on the report's findings:

"On behalf of the university, we offer our profound regret and sincere apologies to each person who endured Strauss' abuse. 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 students and staff members.

"This independent investigation was completed because of the strength and courage of survivors. We thank each of them for their willingness to share their experiences."

Strauss, who killed himself in 2005, was removed from his role as an on-campus physician and in the athletic department in 1996 after his actions were reported to the State Medical Board of Ohio, but school officials didn't contact law enforcement. 

Ohio State allowed Strauss to voluntarily retire in 1998 as a professor emeritus. 

The school opened an investigation into Strauss in April 2018 after multiple former athletes said he sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment. 

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