COLUMBUS (WCMH) — After seeing a picture of Dr. Richard Strauss on the news last week, Steve Snyder-Hill realized, he too had been one of Strauss’ victims.
Strauss, who committed suicide in 2005, is now the subject of a wide ranging investigation of sexual misconduct during his 20 plus year employment at The Ohio State University. Former male athletes of at least 14 different sports have reported allegations of inappropriate conduct by Dr. Strauss.
Snyder-Hill filed a complaint about an encounter with Strauss in 1995 and says he didn’t think about it again until last week when he saw the story on the news.
He reported his recollection to investigators and asked the university for a copy of his original complaint. Now, he says re-reading the complaint he filed makes him sick to his stomach.
“Now seeing all this stuff brings it all back,” Snyder-Hill said. “I can just feel him breathing over me, talking.”
Dr. Strauss had worked as a member of the faculty, as a doctor for athletic teams, and a physician at the student health center.
Snyder-Hill had gone to the student health center for treatment of a lump on his chest in January of 1995.
He says Strauss told him to take off all his clothes and then performed a full body examination including his genitals.
“He asked if I was gay and I thought that was extremely weird,” Snyder-Hill says looking over what he reported at the time. “He asked about my personal desires – not at all appropriate is what I told the nurse.”
Snyder-Hill got a letter back from the head of the student health center in 1995 saying they had not had previous complaints about Strauss.
Snyder-Hill believes there must have been other complaints.
“OSU robbed me of the opportunity to face this guy and look him in the face and confront him, they robbed me of that,” Snyder-Hill said. “They buried this, they took a statement and hid it or did whatever they did with it and I’ll never be able to look that guy in the eyes again and confront him, never.”
Attorney Scott Smith says he is preparing a federal complaint against the university on Snyder-Hill’s behalf.
“Change is the most important thing,” Smith said. “This should have never happened after Steve reported it. We believe it probably has. If this is one thing that occurred, I’m going to bet that Steve’s not the only person who complained and this isn’t the only documentation that exists and we intend to find out.”