Sixteen victims of former Ohio State physician Richard Strauss filed a new lawsuit against the university in Ohio’s Southern District Court Wednesday.
The lawsuit claims the university was complicit in Strauss’ sexual abuse of student-athletes. The victims, who were not part of previous settlements, include wrestlers, football and soccer players, and one person who was a sophomore in high school at the time of the assault. In documents filed with the court, the victims are demanding nearly $10 million in damages and compensation.
“OSU concealed, intentionally ignored, or disregarded athletes’ repeated reports and other widely known information that indicated Strauss was a threat to his male patients,” the lawsuit reads.
A spokesperson for Ohio State referred to previous statements in response to the latest filing, particularly that the university has settled with 162 victims and continues the mediation process with the remaining suits.
“Ohio State has implemented multiple additional safeguards in the 20 years since Strauss left the university and is committed to appropriately addressing Strauss’ abuse from decades ago. Richard Strauss’ actions are reprehensible, and we remain deeply concerned for all those who have been affected by Strauss,” a previous statement reads.
Strauss was the team doctor for 17 varsity sports and a physician at the university’s Student Wellness Center from 1978-98. An independent investigation found that Strauss sexually abused at least 177 students and student-athletes during his tenure and that Ohio State failed to act in May 2019.
Strauss died by suicide in 2005.
The high schooler, John Doe 162, was assaulted by Strauss while on campus for a wrestling team recruiting visit, the lawsuit states. Strauss took John Doe 162 into a private room to examine an elbow injury and sexually assaulted him during the exam, according to the lawsuit. He is the second Strauss victim to come forward who was a high school student at the time of the abuse.
Michael Wright, a lawyer for the victims, said he hoped that this suit would be resolved similar to the first round of settlements.
The university reached a $40.9 million settlement with victims in 12 Strauss-related lawsuits against Ohio State in early May. The settlement represented nearly half of the people who have brought Strauss-related claims against the university.