COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered a review of the state medical board’s handling of complaints against a now-dead Ohio State team doctor who investigators say sexually abused at least 177 students decades ago.
The Republican governor said Monday that “we should all be disgusted” by what Richard Strauss did. “Every Ohioans should be disgusted and should be angered by what has happened,” DeWine said.
A report released Friday found Strauss engaged in a pattern of sexual abuse of male students. It said university officials knew and did little to stop it.
On Monday, DeWine ordered a working group to review an unredacted version of the report to see what the medical board knew and when. “The public has the right to hold all of us accountable and has the right in this particular case to hold the medical board accountable,” DeWine said.
Brian Garrett, a Strauss survivor, says he applauds the governor’s effort to get answers. “Did the medical board fail, could they have yanked his license?” Garrett said. “If I were to have sexually assaulted another student on campus in 1996, I would have been reported to the police. Why didn’t the medical board or Ohio State report him to police immediately? Why is a physician treated differently, a person of power treated differently? That’s what I want to know.”
DeWine says that Strauss’ suicide in 2005 means he can’t be held accountable, but that learning the facts might prevent a repeat.
The governor also called for lifting Ohio’s statute of limitations on rape cases.
“How furious would the public be today if this man was still alive and could not be prosecuted?” DeWine asked “I think people would be furious.”