Ohio State to pay another $5.8M to settle lawsuits related to sexual predator doctor

Ohio State University settled more lawsuits brought by victims of Dr. Richard Strauss, who allegedly molested hundreds of male students on campus between 1978 and 1998.

The university announced Tuesday that it agreed to pay a $5.8 million settlement to 23 plaintiffs involved in five lawsuits.

In May, OSU agreed to pay $40.9 million to 162 plaintiffs involved in 12 lawsuits. The university said no tuition, taxpayer or restricted donor funds will be used for the settlements.

The university still faces four more lawsuits involving 230 plaintiffs, according to spokesman Benjamin Johnson.

Strauss, who died by suicide in 2005, was employed at OSU as a physician and faculty member for two decades.

“The university has condemned Strauss' reprehensible conduct and expressed its appreciation to survivors for coming forward,” said Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson in a written release. “Our work toward restorative justice continues.”

In April 2018, OSU launched an independent investigation after one survivor came forward.

In May 2019, law firm Perkins Coie issued a scathing 232-page report that concluded at least 177 male students had been abused by Strauss and administrators knew about the misconduct but failed to report it to law enforcement.

One athletic trainer told investigators that people who overlapped with Strauss for any significant time would have to have their “ears plugged, eyes shut and mouth closed to not realize something was off.”

His abuse of students included fondling, making them strip under the guise of medical assessments and asking probing questions about their sex lives — abuse that escalated over time, the report says. One student reported that Strauss performed oral sex during an exam.

About the Author