Attorneys: Ohio State needs to release names
Lawyers also seek plan on how to deal with future allegations
Administrators at Ohio State University should release the names of all coaches, trainers and personnel who knew of but failed to act on complaints about a now-dead team doctor who sexually abused male students for nearly two decades, said attorneys for some of the victims.
They also are calling on the university to give them a specific plan by June that shows how Ohio State will deal with future sexual abuse allegations and how it will make sure this never happens again.
The attorneys, who represent nearly 60 men who say they were abused by Dr. Richard Strauss, want Ohio State to reveal more about what it knows, including details about his work with high school athletes and at summer camps run by the school.
Those demands are in response to a report released Friday that found Strauss sexually abused at least 177 male students from the 1970s through the 1990s. They included athletes from at least 16 sports at Ohio State as well as students treated at the campus health center and his clinic near the university.
Numerous university officials had heard complaints or concerns about Strauss over the years but did little or nothing to stop him, according to the report compiled by investigators from a law firm the university hired.
That includes 22 coaches who corroborated victims’ accounts of Strauss’ abuse, the report said. University officials at the time would have been obligated to report felony offenses to police, according to Sarah Ackman, a legal adviser to Gov. Mike DeWine.
The governor said that did not appear to have happened.
On Monday, he ordered a review of the state medical board’s handling of the case.
“Why are they anonymous?” asked attorney Ilann Maazel in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday. “It’s astounding the number of people who knew and who did nothing or almost nothing.”
Among the coaches at Ohio State during Strauss’ time was Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, an assistant wrestling coach from 1987 to 1995.
The Ohio congressman has repeatedly denied allegations made by some former wrestlers who have said he knew about allegations that they were inappropriately groped.
Jordan’s name isn’t mentioned in the report, which said investigators didn’t find documentary evidence that any coaches at Ohio State were aware of the complaints. The report also said it couldn’t make conclusive determinations about each allegation about the former coaches.
A spokesman for Jordan said the report showed he didn’t know about the abuse.
Maazel said the report “only scratches the surface” because Strauss would have seen thousands of athletes and students during his career and that it’s likely there are many more victims who have not come forward.