Hundreds of Ohio State alumni had their lives turned upside down last year when the University announced it would investigate allegations that a former campus doctor had raped and abused male students for nearly 20 years.
The doctor, Richard Strauss, is deceased. But the dirty little secret revealed by last year’s outing has caused anxiety and pain among victims, many of whom had remained silent for decades.
They were ashamed.
Sure, there were locker room whispers about Strauss and many victims joked about calling him names like “Dr. Clean” because he showered naked four or five times a day with athletes.
The “guys” may have laughed it off, but we know now that Strauss was a dangerous predator who destroyed lives.
Timeline of sexual abuse
There’s ample evidence that he was a sexual abuser – our timeline shows the first complaint against him was made in 1979 – evidence that University officials knew about the abuse all along.
But the University did nothing to help victims back then and, instead of helping them now, OSU has spent more than $1.5 million dollars in legal fees for attorneys to work non-stop to dismiss the class action lawsuit that was filed on behalf of all victims.
Strauss wasn’t just any doctor on campus – he was a team doctor who gave physicals to male athletes from 14 different sports like wrestling, gymnastics, volleyball and swimming.
Strauss also worked at the OSU health center and operated an off-campus clinic where he abused young men.
Most, if not all, of Strauss’s victims were teenagers who had just left home for the first time. Please click here for their stories but know, too, that some details are explicit. It simply boggles the mind to think that a well-respected institution like Ohio State would allow the type of behavior our victims describe to continue for 20 years.
These men deserve justice. Their voices deserve to be heard. And they need to be able to go forward with their lives knowing that Ohio State will never allow this to happen again.
Send a supportive message on behalf of these OSU alumni and sexual abuse victims to the University Board of Trustees and also express your disappointment over the handling of this scandal.