COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Lawyers representing 10 former OSU students have filed a federal lawsuit against The Ohio State University alleging sexual abuse by former Ohio State University Doctor Richard Strauss.
Lawyer Scott Smith said some of these individuals were sexually abused while receiving care as a student-athlete at OSU on the track, tennis, soccer, basketball, and wrestling teams.
“Another is a student that was allegedly sexually assaulted, groped and violated by Strauss after presenting to the Ohio State student health care clinic to have a lump on his chest examined,” said Smith.
Smith indicated the case could grow to include more alleged victims.
“We continue to get calls from people every day who were harassed and abused by Dr. Strauss and given Strauss’s tenure at OSU, there may be thousands more that were subjected to his sexual abuse” said Smith.
According to attorney Jack Landskroner, who is also representing the plaintiffs “we represent these former students in their individual capacity as they each seek personal accountability from the University for the damage it caused by repeatedly turning a blind eye to a known serial abuser in its ranks. It unthinkable that Ohio State allowed Dr. Strauss to continue to prey on students for nearly 20 years.”
Smith said he hoped the lawsuit would create sweeping change within OSU.
“The intent of this lawsuit is to confront and impact change of this culture of institutional indifference to the rights and safety of students at OSU. It has persisted for decades and it has to stop, now. We intend that this lawsuit will help to put the University back on track so this will never happen again,” said Smith.
The lawsuit follows a class action lawsuit filed July 17 on behalf of 4 former varsity wrestlers known as ‘John Does’ alleging similar complaints. This recent lawsuit filed by Smith is not a class action lawsuit.
In response to the lawsuit, an OSU spokesperson provided this written statement:
We are aware of reports that individuals at the university did not respond appropriately during that era. These allegations are troubling and are a critical focus of the current investigation.