Posted at 3:28 PM and May 18, 2019
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A lawyer preparing a lawsuit against Ohio State University on behalf of more than 50 former athletes who said they were sexually assaulted by a team doctor said Saturday at the Associated Press that most of these customers were football players, some of whom later played in the NFL.
Dayton's lawyer, Michael Wright, said the abuse occurred during physical exams at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and during the treatment of injuries and ailments in Strauss's off-campus clinic. and at his home, where he had insisted that they be seen.
The doctor, Dr. Richard Strauss, committed suicide in 2005, nearly ten years after being allowed to retire with honors.
A 232-page investigative report released on Friday revealed that Strauss had sexually assaulted at least 177 students, but had only made a single reference to football players, while stating how much money was spent on it. athletes from each team were assaulted. This list indicates that three football players were interviewed.
Wright said he was unaware that his clients had been interviewed by investigators at Seattle-based law firm Perkins Coie.
A spokesman for the state of Ohio declined to comment.
According to the report, the school knew: Investigation: Ohio State Chiefs knew that former team doctor, Richard Strauss, had abused students
The investigators found that Strauss's abuse occurred from 1979 to 1997 and occurred at various locations on the campus, including examination rooms, locker rooms, showers and saunas. Strauss managed, among other things, to get the young men undressed, and he sexually touched them.
The report concluded that dozens of Ohio State staff had been informed of complaints and concerns about Strauss's behavior as early as 1979, but failed for years to investigate or take action. helpful.
"We knew he was seeing these athletes and there were problems," Wright said.
Wright said he planned to file a complaint late next week and that, for the time being, his clients preferred to remain anonymous.
"Obviously, they had good relations with the university and they believe that the university will retaliate or distance itself considerably from these athletes," Wright said.
Some of Strauss's victims remain angry after the release of the report on how the state of Ohio has treated them.
Former nursing student Brian Garrett said that he was working for a short time in an off-campus clinic, opened after opening his post at Strauss after the ouster 39, Ohio State in the late 1990s. But Garrett ceased after witnessing Strauss's abuse and having experienced it himself.
The investigation, he said, left him more angry than before.
"We knew it was systemic and that it had been reported," Garrett said Friday. "It's even more prevalent than we knew."
Nobody publicly defended Strauss, although family members reported being shocked by the allegations.
The whistleblower credited for instigating the investigation said in a statement that he felt "justified" but had mixed feelings about the law firm's findings.
Mike DiSabato, a former wrestler from the state of Ohio, met with school officials in March 2018 to discuss the mistreatment that he and other athletes have suffered from the Strauss's share, which prompted the school to engage Perkins Coie to conduct an investigation.
"Although a weight has been removed from my back, I am deeply saddened to hear and relive the stories of so many other people who have suffered similar abuses from Dr. Strauss. while the state of Ohio has turned a blind eye, "said DiSabato's statement.
According to him, the Perkins Coie Report gives him "the courage and strength to keep fighting to make sure that the state of Ohio is held responsible for the damage and trauma that they have caused to me and my family ".
Ohio State President Michael Drake said the school, the third largest university in the country, was experiencing "constant institutional failure." He apologized and congratulated the victims for their courage.
The lawsuits against the state of Ohio are moving towards mediation. They are looking for unspecified damage. Drake said the only investigation cost the school $ 6.2 million.
In addition, the US Department of Education's Civil Rights Bureau examines whether the state of Ohio responded promptly and fairly to student complaints. The department could reduce federal funding for the university if it is proven that it violated the protection of civil rights.