COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Dozens more men are suing the state of Ohio for the university’s failure to stop sexual abuse and misconduct decades ago by team doctor Richard Strauss.
They echo the claims previously filed by over 400 men, many of whom claim they were groped during required medical exams or while seeking treatment for unrelated diseases. New lawsuits in two lawsuits by at least 39 plaintiffs were filed in federal court before Monday. It was two years since a report of a law firm investigation found that university employees had concerns about Strauss as early as 1979 but did not stop him.
“With this lawsuit, the plaintiffs are trying to hold the OSU accountable for their mistakes and to ensure that something like this can never happen again,” wrote lawyers in one of the new cases.
FILE – Pedestrians pass the Ohio State University Student Union in Columbus, Ohio on this file photo dated May 18, 2019. (AP Photo / John Minchillo, File)
Strauss, who died in 2005, was accused of molesting young men during his two decades at school.
The university has publicly apologized, promised a “cash solution” for survivors, and has already reached nearly $ 47 million settlements for 185 plaintiffs. A custom settlement program was also recently announced that could help resolve more claims from five of the remaining litigation.
Nobody has defended Strauss publicly since alumni came forward with allegations of the doctor’s misconduct in 2018.
By then, and even until the results of the law firm’s investigation hit national headlines in 2019, many men thought their experience was isolated, did not recognize it as sexual assault, or did not know school officials were aware of the concerns during the doctor’s tenure said the latest plaintiffs on their court records.
Among them is an Ohio man who claims he was repeatedly petted by Strauss during exams when the plaintiff was a high school student, and his coach took him to university campus to practice as an aspiring athlete for his swimming team. The alleged abuse occurred between 1978 and 1981 in the doctor’s earliest school years, according to the complaint.
Recent plaintiffs, most of whom were filed anonymously, also include former soccer, basketball, wrestling, ice hockey, athletics, lacrosse, baseball, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming and diving athletes, and a former student treated by Strauss in the health center 1996.
When asked if the school had commented on the new cases, a spokesman referred to their earlier statements.
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