A new lawsuit filed Monday against Ohio State by 30 more former students claims university officials failed to properly address sexual abuse complaints against former university physician Richard Strauss.
The Title IX suit was filed in U.S. District Court by Wright and Schulte law firm in response to an independent investigation released May 17. The investigation found that Strauss abused at least 177 students during his 20 years at Ohio State and that the university failed to take action when notified of Strauss’ abuse.
Most of the anonymous plaintiffs in the new complaint are former members of Ohio State athletic teams — including wrestling, football, lacrosse, golf, fencing, swimming, basketball, gymnastics, baseball, track and cross country, according to the lawsuit.
“Multiple, additional individuals came forward and said that they were abused by Dr. Strauss, so we wanted to file a lawsuit on behalf of those additional plaintiffs,” Michael Wright, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, said.
Wright is also representing victims of Strauss in a previously filed companion case.
“We definitely want to make sure that Ohio State is changing their policies and procedures, so this won’t happen to anyone else,” he said. “We’d want to make sure that those who were abused and affected by Dr. Strauss at Ohio State are taken care of by the university.”
Strauss sexually abused students and athletes while he served as a team doctor for 17 varsity sports and a physician in the Student Health Center, as well as an off-campus clinic, according to the investigative report.
Ohio State spokesman Chris Davey stated in an email that Ohio State continues to be engaged in the mediation process and still offers resources to former students.
“We are grateful to all those who have come forward to share what happened,” Davey stated. “We remain deeply concerned for all those who have been affected by Strauss’ actions, and we remain committed to the mediation process outlined by the federal court.”
Ohio State has covered costs of former students’ counseling services since February. Other former students who are interested in this resource can visit https://website.praesidiuminc.com/wp/osu/ or call 888-961-9273, he said.
University President Michael V. Drake announced the creation of a task force to prevent serial sexual abuse on college campuses at the full Board of Trustees meeting in May.