OSU SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS STAND UP FOR JUSTICE

Imagine if it was your child” – Strauss victim Mike Schyck

When Dr. Richard Strauss’s victims began coming forward last year, it immediately became apparent that Ohio State officials had known for decades that Strauss was abusing male students, particularly student-athletes.

The athletes were required to see Strauss for their annual physicals, but that wasn’t enough – after a team finished practicing Strauss would strip down and shower with the athletes, leering at their genitals and even masturbating.

One of the people who was told about Strauss was former tennis Coach John Daly.

“I remember Coach smirking when Strauss’s name came up – he knew what was going on. In fact, if players didn’t behave their punishment would be to go see Dr. Strauss,” a tennis player said.

A hockey player discussed Strauss’s sexual assaults with William R. (Bill) Davis, who was OSU’s assistant athletic trainer from 1984-94.

“Bill approached me and another one of my teammates, who had a similar experience, inquiring about the inappropriateness of our physical exams,” the hockey player said. “We told Bill the entire story and he seemed very concerned. I thought he was doing his own investigation, but I was never asked about the incident again.”

Amazingly, 10 years later in mid-1994, the University assigned Strauss to work part-time at Student Health Services. This gave him carte blanche to expand his sexual predation of OSU’s male students beyond the locker rooms.

Strauss graduated from the Pritzker School of Medicine in 1964 and had several jobs before coming to Ohio State in 1978. He was well-respected by his peers in Columbus – even the dean of Ohio State’s medical college, Manuel Tzagournis, praised Strauss in 1984 as “an outstanding individual in every sense.”

He fooled a lot of people, but sadder still is the fact that so many others chose to look the other way.

AND THEY HONORED HIM WITH ‘EMERITUS’ STATUS

Strauss worked for Ohio State from 1978-98, with complaints  against him coming early in his campus career and continuing until the end.

The University investigated—and discounted – a student  complaint that was filed in January 1995. Strauss abused the student at the Student Health Services facility.

More complaints poured in, forcing Strauss to leave his position with Student Health Services in August 1996.

The University did not discipline Strauss, nor did they call the police – let  alone fire him.

Instead,  the predator doctor established an off-campus men’s health clinic. To attract patients, Strauss advertised his specialty, which was diagnosing and treating sexually transmitted diseases, in the OSU campus newspaper.

It’s also where he abused Brian Garrett.

“My abuse was 100 percent preventable,” Brian says.

Strauss signaled his intent to retire in early 1998. The OSU Board of Trustees granted him emeritus status and he retired on March 1, 1998.

Forty years after Dr. Strauss first sexually abused an Ohio State student, the Perkins Coie investigation was announced.

Timeline of Events

1964

1978

1981

1994

1996

1998

2005

  • Strauss dies in 2005, and it was later ruled a suicide.

April 2018

May 2018

  • Ohio State provides an update on the investigation on May 3.
  • According to the university statement, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office appointed Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP as legal counsel for the university. Porter Wright then engaged Perkins Coie LLP to conduct an independent investigation.

June 2018

HOLD OSU ACCOUNTABLE – CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR 

The time has come for Ohio State University to accept responsibility for allowing Dr. Richard Strauss to sexually abuse hundreds of OSU students and student-athletes. The University refuses to voluntarily do the right thing for these victims—its own alumni. Make your voice heard and tell the University to be accountable for its behavior. Help these victims obtain the justice they deserve by filling out the below form and submitting a letter to your legislators. Or email the Board of Trustees at: board@osu.edu

WRITE TO LEGISLATORS

Help these victims obtain the justice they deserve by filling out the below form and submitting a letter to your legislators.

Write to Legislators
Dear Members of the Ohio General Assembly,

I’m writing today in support of HB 249. The statute of limitations needs to be changed in order to help Dr. Richard Strauss’s Ohio State victims.

Most of Strauss’s victims were teenagers whose parents entrusted their futures to Ohio State.

But the University failed these young men by repeatedly ignoring complaints that Strauss was a sexual predator who was abusing students.

Two independent investigations have revealed decades of institutional betrayal by the University. It’s abundantly clear that the University won’t voluntarily right this wrong, so I encourage you and other Legislators to enact and support legislation to support HB 249 and amend the statute of limitations for Dr. Strauss abuse victims.

It is the moral obligation of all Ohioans to make sure sexual abuse victims have the right to pursue justice and hold our institutions accountable.