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Strauss accusers to speak at full Board of Trustees meeting

Richard Strauss in his Ohio State College of Medicine photograph. Ohio State has filed to have three lawsuits dismissed regarding its handling of the accusations against Strauss. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State

A group of former Ohio State students and student athletes who have accused Dr. Richard Strauss of sexual abuse during his time at Ohio State will speak at the full Board of Trustees meeting on Nov. 16, Ohio State spokesman Ben Johnson said.

Brian Garrett, who said he was abused by Strauss at his private clinic in 1996, sent a formal request to the Ohio State Board of Trustees Friday, asking permission to address the members of the Board regarding the university’s handling of the Strauss investigation.

“We are suffering, and so are many others, due to inaction by the University,” Garrett said in an email to the Board. “Some of us have suffered in silence for 22 years or more, thinking we were the only ones. As the Board knows, we are not alone. There are hundreds of us.”

The Board is allowing the group 20 minutes to speak at the meeting, agreeing to Garrett’s request.

“The stories so many have shared about Richard Strauss are deeply concerning, and we are grateful for these individuals’ willingness to speak publicly,” Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson added that since the beginning of the investigation, Ohio State’s goal has been to “thoroughly and carefully pursue the truth about what happened during Strauss’ time at Ohio State and what university leaders at the time knew.”

“We do not tolerate sexual misconduct and pledge to appropriately address the findings of the investigation,” Johnson said.

Strauss has been accused of sexually abusing hundreds of former students athletes and students during his time at Ohio State from 1978 to 1998. He also ran a private clinic from 1996 to 1998 where other claims have alleged to take place.

On Sept. 7, Ohio State filed a motion to dismiss three federal lawsuits regarding the allegations on statute of limitations, which allows Title IX cases in Ohio to be dismissed if two years pass after the alleged events took place.

In his request to speak to the university, Garrett said he did not have any materials to distribute nor did they need to be included on the agenda. He said they just wanted to present oral testimony.

“We would ask for a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed twenty minutes,” Garrett said in the email.

According to the email, the group would like to share their stories and address topics for consideration, including resources for abuse victims, policies and rules changes, changes in civil laws and personnel or organizational changes.

“We are not attorneys, and do not seek an appearance to discuss any pending litigation,” Garrett said in the email. “We are alumni simply seek an opportunity to address the individual Members of the Board, to briefly share our stories, request your assistance, and voice our suggestions for change.”

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