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Strauss Allegations Number Nearly 1,500, Report Finds

Jason Scott

As Ohio State continues to deal with the fallout of former team doctor Richard Strauss, who has posthumously been accused of sexual abuse by hundreds of former students and athletes, the school has updated its annual campus crime report to reflect those abuses. 

Columbus TV station WCMH reports that the university, as required by the Clery Act, in 2019 recorded 437 reports of fondling and 17 reports of rape tied to Strauss’s alleged conduct. The Clery Act requires schools to disclose information about crime on campus, and mandates that incidents be counted in the year in which they were reported, not when they occurred. 

Those numbers, combined with 2018’s 992 fondling reports and 30 rape reports bring the total number of incidents against Strauss to a staggering 1,476. 

Strauss died by suicide in 2005, his conduct has just begun to come to light in recent years. Among the allegations are that he fondled and sexually abused student-athletes in his care under the guise of performing medical exams. The university apologized to Strauss’ at least 177 victims, writing “Our institution’s fundamental failure at the time to prevent this abuse was unacceptable — as were the inadequate efforts to thoroughly investigate complaints raised by students and staff members.”

Meanwhile, the state government has been moved to action. The Columbus Dispatch reports that a working group appointed by Gov. Mike DeWine in the wake of the Strauss allegations has requested a report from the state medical board detailing how it will address old cases of sexual impropriety, update policies for closing cases, reporting crimes and providing more public transparency. 

The medical board report intends to review about 2,000 cases dating back to 1979 in which sexual impropriety was alleged, but later closed without a finding of wrongdoing. 

At least seven lawsuits against Ohio State have been filed related to Strauss’ abuse, and are pending mediation. 

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