An Ohio State alumnus and victim of former university physician Richard Strauss said he has filed two complaints with the State Medical Board of Ohio — one against University President Michael V. Drake and another against former Ohio State student health director Dr. Ted Grace.
The complaints, which the medical board keeps confidential but Steven Snyder-Hill shared with The Columbus Dispatch, call Ohio State’s handling of public records unethical under Drake’s leadership and question why Grace didn’t report the cases of abuse he knew about sooner, according to The Dispatch. Snyder-Hill said he could not share the complaints with The Lantern, but confirmed he filed them Monday.
Snyder-Hill’s complaint said Ohio State did not release public records or respond to his public records request relating to Strauss in a timely manner, according to The Dispatch. He said his intent in filing the complaints is to make sure these events do not repeat themselves, and he filed a complaint specifically against Drake, who holds a medical license in addition to his position as president, because Ohio State has been “institutionally indifferent.”
“I don’t want people to think it’s personal,” he said. “I don’t want people to think that it’s some kind of an attack on him. It’s just simply looking pragmatically at it and saying that I feel like that if you, as a university, as an organization, aren’t going to accept responsibility, somebody needs to.”
Strauss was a team doctor for 17 men’s varsity sports and physician at the Ohio State Student Wellness Center from 1978 to ’98, during which time he abused at least 177 students and student-athletes, according to a report released in May following an investigation conducted by Perkins Coie, LLP. The investigation also found that Ohio State failed to act on Strauss’ abuse at the time.
Ohio State’s latest count, according to a university press release, includes nearly 1,500 instances of Strauss-related abuse. At least 14 Strauss-related lawsuits, which are now in mediation, have been filed against the university. Strauss died by suicide in 2005.
University spokesperson Ben Johnson said in an email it would be inappropriate to discuss any specific complaint pending at the medical board and that Ohio State has released thousands of pages of records.
“Ohio State has led the effort to investigate and expose Richard Strauss’ abuse and the university’s failure at the time to adequately respond to or prevent it,” he said. “The university initiated, publicly announced, and funded the independent investigation that uncovered the truth.”
Grace, who the Perkins Coie report found knew about two complaints against Strauss in 1995 and placed him on administrative leave after a third incident in 1996, is now the student health director at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. A representative for Grace said Grace was not commenting on the matter.