photo of University hall at ohio state university

Ohio State reached a $5.8 million settlement with 23 victims of former university physician Dr. Richard Strauss’s sexual abuse. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Former Managing Editor for Multimedia

An additional 23 victims of former Ohio State physician Richard Strauss’ sexual abuse have settled cases with Ohio State, the university announced Tuesday.

The addition brings the number of victims who settled with the university to 185 and the total settlement amount to $46.7 million.

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, and the additional settlements average approximately $252,000 per victim.

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 in May 2019 found that Strauss abused at least 177 students and student-athletes during his tenure and that Ohio State failed to act.

Strauss died by suicide in 2005.

“The university has condemned Strauss’ reprehensible conduct and expressed its appreciation to survivors for coming forward,” University President Kristina M. Johnson said in a press release. “Our work toward restorative justice continues.”

According to the release, individual victims will receive different amounts depending on “the harm and damages experienced.” A special master with experience in sexual trauma claim evaluation will oversee the settlement, the release stated. No tuition or taxpayer funds will be used for the settlements.

“Our ongoing negotiations with Ohio State have resulted in a fair settlement process that acknowledges the harm inflicted on individual survivors and provides a pathway to healing,” Richard Schulte, lead negotiator for the plaintiffs’ firms in both settlements, said. “Once again, Ohio State has stepped forward and done the right thing.” 

The U.S. Southern District Court of Ohio unsealed an amended complaint against Ohio State May 27 that included sworn testimony from university employees during the time Strauss abused students and student-athletes — that indicates many university administrators were aware of Strauss’s abuse.

Some victims have accused Ohio State of not being honest with them about how the university has put barriers in place to prevent future abuse or about the independent investigation.

A special master in September determined Ohio State violated state public records law when it intentionally withheld records from victim Stephen Snyder-Hill about Strauss’ abuse.

Anyone who has experienced sexual misconduct at Ohio State is encouraged to report to the Office of Institutional Equity, the university’s anonymous reporting service or law enforcement.

Correction: A previous version of this story listed the total number of victims who have settled with the university as 162. The number of victims who have settled is 185. The story has been corrected to reflect this.