Ohio State report documents 177 cases of sexual misconduct by team doctor

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A new report following an extensive investigation at Ohio State has found a team doctor molested 177 men over two decades, and that university officials knew of the abuse and did not stop it.

The report found that Dr. Richard Strauss was a serial abuser between 1979 and 1997, and that personnel at the university knew what he was doing as early as 1979.

Nothing was reported until 1996, when Strauss finally stepped down. He killed himself in 2005.

{mosads}Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a top conservative voice in the House, was a former assistant coach on the Ohio State wrestling team, but he was not mentioned in the report.

“It confirms everything I said,” Jordan told reporters. “If we’d have known about it we’d have reported it. It confirms everything I’ve said before. I didn’t know about anything. If I would’ve, I’d have done something.”

The report says the investigation “did not identify any contemporaneous documentary evidence that members of the OSU coaching staff, including head coaches or assistant coaches” knew of or received complaints over misconduct.

Several former Ohio State wrestlers had publicly said they believed Jordan knew or must have known about the abuse, allegations the congressman vehemently denied.

More than 20 former wrestlers and coaches came out in defense of Jordan following the accusations against him last July. 

Jordan, a former NCAA Division I wrestling champ, worked at the school from 1987 to 1995.

The investigation was conducted by law firm Perkins Coie, which entailed interviews with hundreds of former students and OSU staff.

It said Strauss abused young men who came to him with other health issues, examining their genitals if they came in with a cold.

“On behalf of the university, we offer our profound regret and sincere apologies to each person who endured Strauss’s abuse,” Ohio State President Michael Drake said in a statement.

“Our institution’s fundamental failure at the time to prevent this abuse was unacceptable — as were the inadequate efforts to thoroughly investigate complaints raised by students and staff members.”

Former wrestlers interviewed by investigators reported excessive and unnecessary treatments by Strauss that were abusive in nature. They also suggested officials at the university knew of his actions, and that a campus culture allowed it to continue.

While the report says the independent investigation did not conclude that assistant coaches had knowledge of the abuse, it did state that numerous student-athletes said “they talked about Strauss’ inappropriate genital exams and complained about Strauss’ locker room and shower room voyeurism, directly to or in front coaching staff.”

“We could not make conclusive determinations about each and every allegation made about a particular coach’s knowledge; a number of coaches denied (or did not recall) being aware of any complaints or even rumors about Strauss, and — as noted above — we did not locate documentary evidence indicating otherwise,” the report says. 

Tags Jim Jordan Ohio Ohio State University wrestling; sexual abuse allegations
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