Class-action suits claim OSU ignored doctor's alleged sex abuse

Dr. Richard Strauss

Four former wrestlers say in a lawsuit that Ohio State University officials ignored repeated complaints about a now-dead team doctor and failed to stop his "rampant sexual misconduct" that went on almost two decades.

Ohio State says allegations raised in recent months about Strauss involve male athletes from 14 sports, as well as the physician's work at the student health center and his off-campus medical office.

Four former Ohio State University wrestlers have filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court, alleging the university knew about abuse by physician Richard Strauss but failed to stop his misconduct.

"We are grateful to those who have come forward and remain deeply concerned for anyone who may have been affected by Dr. Strauss' actions", Ohio State president Michael V. Drake said in a statement.

More than 200 interviews with former students and university staff have been conducted and more than 100 additional interviews are anticipated.

Some of the accusers have claimed that US Rep. Jim Jordan of OH - an OSU assistant wrestling coach between 1987 and 1995 - knew about the abuse but did nothing. Snyder-Hill recalls that Strauss also did a genital exam and pressed himself into him, at which point the patient realized the doctor had an erection. His relatives have said they were shocked by sexual abuse allegations against him.

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Strauss worked at the university for almost two decades from the mid-1970s to the 1990s.

The other suit, NBC reported, was filed by four former wrestlers.

Like more than a half-dozen other former OSU athletes interviewed by The Washington Post, he said Strauss's physical examinations made him feel uncomfortable, but he did not believe at the time that it rose to the level of abuse.

Several former wrestlers accused Jordan of doing nothing after hearing reports that Strauss was sexually abusing wrestlers. Attorneys filed a massive class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in OH on behalf of an as-yet-unnamed former OSU wrestler. He declined to comment through a spokesperson there. His abuses are alleged to have ranged into the hundreds, if not thousands, and student-athletes have said the misconduct was widely known. He's said that it was a running joke that no matter what ailment a person asked Strauss to look at, the doctor would always examine his genitals.

Speaking on "America's Newsroom", Jordan told Bill Hemmer that wrestlers and coaches alike have expressed the same stance. In an interview with CNN, he said he told Strauss that his wrestlers were uncomfortable showering with the doctor.