A Mediation Request to the Ohio State Board of Trustees

December 13, 2108

Dear Ohio State University Trustees,

We’re writing to thank you for allowing Dr. Richard Strauss’s sexual assault victims to speak during last month’s meeting. We’re especially grateful that you gave us extra time to tell our stories.

While you await the results of the Perkins Coie investigation, we’re worried about what will happen BEFORE you receive it.

We’re concerned that survivors will be silenced before the report is issued because, on the same day that the Board granted our request to speak with you, the University’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss one of the two Strauss-related lawsuits. And although Chairman Gasser told us, “We are not dismissing you. We are committed to doing the right thing,” the University moved to dismiss the other lawsuit shortly after our presentation to you. In our opinion, there was absolutely no legal reason for University attorneys to file these motions other than to send a message of intimidation.

And those same attorneys are continuing their efforts to silence our voices. Decades ago, Ohio State instilled fear and intimidation to successfully silence us as young students and athletes. We feared loss of scholarships and graduate school opportunities. Today, OSU continues to use intimidation tactics – this time using legal technicalities – to silence us as alumni.

For that reason, writing on behalf of many Dr. Strauss survivors, we are asking that Ohio State meet with us in mediation before the end of 2018.

The University already knows that Perkins Coie will report that hundreds of athletes and students were sexually abused by Dr. Strauss, and that many people at Ohio State knew what was going on and refused to stop it.

You do not need a formal report from Perkins Coie to start the mediation process.

It is our understanding that the report will not make any recommendations on how to fix Ohio State’s flawed culture, nor is it expected to make any amends for victims.

That also concerns us. During our Perkins Coie interviews, we were only asked about what Dr. Strauss did to us – we were never asked how the abuse impacted us or if we needed help dealing with the trauma we suffered.

We believe mediation will demonstrate to you what Perkins Coie cannot and will not, and that is the harm that was caused to victims. Mediation will provide all of us the opportunity to start the healing process and for this great University to put its own shameful failure to protect its students in the past.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Brian Garrett

Mike Schyck

cc: All members of the Ohio General Assembly

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

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.