Strauss victims endorse legislation to end Ohio’s statute of limitations

Call for all OSU alumni to support HB 249

Several hundred men who were abused by Dr. Richard Strauss are suing Ohio State for negligence, but their lawsuits have been challenged by the University because the statute of limitations on Strauss’ crimes expired years ago.

State Representative Brett Hillyer hopes House Bill 249 will change that. If approved by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Mike DeWine, HB 249 would eliminate the statute for Strauss’ victims.

“What House Bill 249 seeks to do is allow these victims their day in court and to have their matter heard by a judge or jury, just as each one of us would expect to have in normal litigation,” Hillyer said.

Hillyer’s comments came at a June 4 news conference that was held at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

Five Strauss victims attended, including 1990 OSU graduate Roger Beedon, who attended Ohio State on a hockey scholarship.

Beedon was abused by Strauss during annual team physicals. He recalled telling then-athletic trainer Bill Davis about the abuse during a meeting with another hockey player.

“We told Bill about the details of what had happened. My teammate and I were very forthcoming,” Beedon said. “The sad part is nothing ever happened, nothing.”

Fast forward to the present and Beedon said he becomes “anxious” when he sees Strauss’ photo in news reports.

“I have been diagnosed with depression and PTSD,” he said. “At times I don’t like who I’ve become. I have trust issues and I look at people differently since the abuse of Dr. Richard Strauss. Through counseling and through prayer I hope to overcome this to the point where I can accept what has happened to me.”

Two-time All American wrestler Mike Schyck, who arrived on campus in 1988, spoke about recent conversations he’s had with other Strauss victims and said an “overwhelming” number of them are suffering.

“You can see how it’s affected their lives – depression, anxiety, alcohol, trust issues, marriage issues,” Schyck said. “I personally have dealt with trust issues for most of my life. This has had a profound impact on me, my relationships with my family, my friends, as well as co-workers. It’s carried with me throughout my adulthood.”

Victim Brian Garrett, who came to OSU as a nursing student in the early 1990s, was abused in 1996.

“I seek counseling now for trust,” Garrett said. “I don’t trust people. I just had this issue in the workplace and I have this issue at home.”

Garrett has trouble sleeping and says his wife texts him every day to ask, “did you sleep last night?”

And Garrett himself asked, “You know why I’m speaking up? So it doesn’t happen to you when you go off to Ohio State or anybody else’s family member when they go off to Ohio State.”

The victims encouraged all Ohio residents, and most especially Ohio State alumni, to support HB 249 by contacting members of the Ohio General Assembly.

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.