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The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)
Former Ohio State students who said they were sexually abused by Dr. Richard Strauss are asking Ohio lawmakers to persuade university trustees to agree to mediation because they are being "silenced" by university attorneys.
Bryan Garrett and Mike Schyck, who said they were victims of Strauss, sent a letter to university trustees and lawmakers Thursday.
The men said in the letter that the move by university attorneys to try to get one of two lawsuits filed against the university dismissed is designed to squelch information about Strauss and what the university did or didn't do during his tenure to investigate allegations.
Strauss worked as a team doctor in a number of sports and was a physician for student health services in the 1990s. He killed himself in 2005.
Ohio State's 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," the letter stated.
Chris Davey, spokesman for the university, said getting to the bottom of what happened and who knew about Strauss' actions has been "the highest priority to the university."
"The independent Strauss investigation will be over soon, and the university will share the findings and develop the appropriate response and action at that time," Davey said in an email.
University trustees are awaiting the findings of a lengthy investigation of the Strauss allegations. Investigators said last month that they had conducted more than 440 separate interviews, with a third of those being people who provided first-hand accounts of Strauss' abuse.
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