Ohio governor says state board ignored evidence university doctor was abusing students

Ohio governor says state board ignored evidence university doctor was abusing students
© Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced Friday that the State Medical Board of Ohio ignored credible evidence in 1996 that a doctor with an Ohio State University athletic team sexually abused male students for years. 

A state working group that reviewed the old inquiry said it could not explain why the medical board did not take action against the now-deceased Richard Strauss or report him to authorities. 


“The information provided shows that Dr. Strauss has been performing inappropriate genital exams on male students for years. This has been brought to the attention of officials at the university and just recently action was taken,” the working group wrote in its findings, adding that colleagues of Strauss it interviewed “freely acknowledged longstanding, serious concerns about Strauss.”

The medical board said in a statement to The Hill that it welcomed the report from the working group and is reviewing its findings.

Lawyers representing more than 300 of Strauss’s accusers are now suing Ohio State University over allegations spanning from 1979 to 1997, according to the AP.

Strauss died in 2005. Nobody has come forward to publicly defend him

Friday’s findings led DeWine Friday to call on the State Medical Board of Ohio to review all past sexual assault allegations against physicians and licensed medical personnel that were investigated and closed without action in the last 25 years.  

“I have deep concerns that there could be other cases similar to this one – cases where there was clear evidence of criminal misconduct, but that evidence was ignored,” DeWine said in a statement. “The examination of these cases will be a major undertaking, but it’s the right thing to do. We cannot risk that there are other sexual assault cases that were mishandled and other predator physicians still practicing medicine.”