Lawyers for the men suing Ohio State University over allegations of sexual misconduct by a now deceased former team doctor told the Associated Press that more than 300 accusers have stepped forward.
Dr. Richard Strauss, who retired from Ohio State in 1998 with emeritus status and died by suicide in 2005, stands accused of having used his position within the athletic department, the student health center and his off-campus medical clinic as a means of fondling his victims during medical exams.
More than half of the 300-plus men who have come forward are already named as plaintiffs in federal lawsuits, and more are likely to file suit.
The lawsuits allege that Ohio State officials knew about Strauss, but failed to do enough to stop his predatory behavior.
“This is, from our perspective, aside from the Catholic Church, one of the biggest sexual misconduct cases in the country,” attorney Michael Wright, whose legal team is representing more than 100 of the alleged victims, told the AP.
Strauss’ hundreds of accusers are close to the number of plaintiffs that originally came forward in connection to the Larry Nassar scandal. Nassar is now in prison, and Michigan State settled claims from his victims for $425 million.
Ohio State issued a public apology to survivors and acknowledged that its handling of Strauss was a “fundamental failure.”
The lawsuits against Ohio State are currently in mediation, and could be resolved with a settlement.