Ohio governor Mike DeWine has called for a panel to determine why a 1996 investigation by the State Medical Board produced no charges against Dr. Richard Strauss, an Ohio State physician accused of sexually abusing at least 177 male students.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the panel will examine redacted information contained in the 1996 report and seek to determine whether the Medical Board acted appropriately at the time.
A university investigation determined that Strauss molested victims during his tenure working within the athletic department and student recreation center, a period spanning the years of the late 1970s to the mid ‘90s. Ohio State paid for an independent investigation into the allegations against Strauss, which was released to the public earlier this month.
“Multiple people over multiple years failed to meet their minimum responsibility,” Ohio State president Michael V. Drake told media members when the results of the investigation were released.
DeWine’s 15-member panel includes officials representing public safety and public health, state legislators, doctors and law enforcement. The group has a deadline of Aug. 1 to produce its report, which in addition to determining the appropriateness of the Medical Board’s actions in the 1990s could also call for changes to laws regarding how complaints against doctors are investigated and released.
In addition to appointing the panel, DeWine is calling for state legislators to eliminate the statute of limitations on rape charges, extend the deadline for filing charges for other sex crimes, and allow adult victims of abuse more time to file damages lawsuits against state institutions.
Some of Strauss’ alleged victims have filed lawsuits seeking damages. A U.S. District court judge ordered that an unredacted version of the university investigation report be given to him and to lawyers as victims and the university undergo mediation.