Sexual Abuse Survivors Launch Website Aimed at Holding the Ohio State University Accountable for Dr. Richard Strauss Sexual Misconduct

Survivors are asking the Ohio Legislature to step in and provide a voice for justice.

Columbus, OH – September 28, 2018 — The Ohio State University continues to move forward with efforts to silence the survivors of Dr. Richard Strauss’s abuse through the use of a legal loophole. With Ohio State’s independent investigation into the alleged sexual abuse of hundreds of students and athletes by Dr. Strauss still in progress, the University is not waiting for the investigation to be completed. Instead, it is taking action to deny justice for the numerous sexual abuse survivors who filed a lawsuit against the University back in July of 2018. The University is attempting to use a legal loophole to dismiss the lawsuit and forever silence survivors. The University believes that sex abuse victims must file legal action within a few years of their sexual abuse or lose their right to justice.

“For the victims, there is no arbitrary time limit on the mental trauma, especially knowing now that the sexual abuse was widespread, ignored and covered up by Ohio State,” said Brian Garrett, a sexual abuse victim of Dr. Strauss.

Since the investigation started, Brian has frequently woken up in the middle of the night feeling paralyzed, like he is back on Dr. Strauss’s exam table in 1996. Brian still gets nauseous when he sees pictures of Dr. Strauss by reliving what Dr. Strauss did to a patient on the exam table.

No longer waiting for Ohio State to admit fault and do the right thing for sexual abuse survivors, the survivor’s group is now asking the Ohio Legislature to intervene. The survivors have launched the website Rights for Ohio State Victims – Website visitors are invited to tell legislators to create the same type of legislation that allowed Michigan State’s Larry Nassar victims the legal right to compensation for their injuries.

Ohio State University hired Dr. Strauss as an attending physician and assistant professor in 1978. By 1981, Ohio State gave Dr. Strauss the authority to serve as team physician for 14 different team sports at the University. Almost immediately, until his departure in 1998, Dr. Strauss used the power bestowed by the University to molest hundreds, if not thousands, of OSU students and student-athletes. Many coaches from various sports and at least two Athletic Directors ignored athlete complaints.

“Ohio is a conservative state that places great value on personal responsibility,” said Attorney Rex Sharp. “Sadly, the University is trying to evade personal responsibility by using a frivolous defense before their investigation is even completed,” added Sharp. Ohio State also refused survivors’ invitation to mediate with the same mediator who mediated the Michigan State – Larry Nassar case.

“It’s a sad day when Ohio State sets an example on how to evade responsibility and accountability while Michigan State and Penn State both take care of Larry Nassar and Jerry Sandusky sex abuse victims,” said Garrett.

This weekend, all eyes will be on the Ohio State – Penn State football game. Ohio State needs to learn from the mistakes made by Penn State in their handling of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case. “The longer Ohio State silences survivors and tries to deny justice, the more damage Ohio State is inflicting to its reputation and brand,” said Sharp.

The offer to mediate a fair solution for the countless sexual abuse survivors still stands.



Brian Garrett

Ed Vasquez