The same law firm Ohio State used to investigate the abuse of former university physician Richard Strauss is being retained by the University of Minnesota to investigate a former assistant hockey coach’s alleged sexual abuse that occurred more than 35 years ago.
Between 1984 and ’85, Thomas Adrahtas allegedly sexually assaulted college hockey players, according to sports news website The Athletic. In a statement, Minnesota said the university retained Perkins Coie LLP, the law firm which investigated the sexual abuse committed by Strauss at Ohio State over the course of a year, beginning in April 2018.
“The University takes this disturbing report seriously and is taking immediate steps,” the statement reads. “The University is committed to providing support for our former students consistent with our public responsibilities and dedication to a supportive, inclusive and safe environment for our entire community.”
Minnesota is offering support resources through its Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office and its Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education, which encompasses sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking, according to the statement. Ohio State also offers free counseling services to anyone impacted by Strauss’ abuse, according to the university’s website.
Strauss, a former Ohio State team doctor for 17 men’s varsity sports and physician at the Ohio State Student Wellness Center from 1978 to ’98, 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.
Strauss died by suicide in 2005.
Perkins Coie, LLP, will also be investigating the allegations against Adrahtas, according to Minnesota’s statement. The firm investigated Ohio State’s knowledge of Strauss’ abuse beginning in April 2018 and conducted 600 interviews with 520 interviewees throughout the course of one year, including the 177 Strauss victims.
The report regarding Ohio State’s knowledge of Strauss was 232 pages.
Perkins Coie, LLP, created an email for confidential reporting of Adrahtas’ “activities,” according to Minnesota’s statement. The law firm had also created an email account to receive information about Strauss’ abuse, according to the report. Information about Minnesota’s investigation comes less than a week after University of Michigan announced it was also investigating allegations against former university physician Robert E. Anderson for abuse during his 35-year tenure. Anderson died in 2008. Michigan’s investigation will be conducted by lawyers at Steptoe & Johnson.