Sports doctor who committed suicide in 2005 fondled and ogled naked young athletes in shocking new revelation
The victims told the Associated Press they were molested by Strauss and described him as a locker-room voyeur who unnecessarily groped athletes during medical exams
Richard Strauss spent decades working as a team doctor and sports medicine researcher for the Ohio State University and was highly regarded among his peers before he killed himself in 2005 at age 67. However, some former athletes have now claimed that the doctor is not what he seems. In fact, they have gone to the extent of calling him a locker-room voyeur, a serial groper, and also "Dr. Jelly Paws."
Seven former athletes and a former nursing student shared their stories during a series of interviews with The Associated Press in recent weeks. With incidents dating back to the 1970s, they leveled allegations of sexual misconduct against the doctor.
Now, hoping to make sure something similar does not happen to future sports patients, the eight men, including three who spoke out on condition of anonymity, want those who ignored their concerns about Strauss to be held accountable.
According to their respective testimonies, during medical exams, Strauss fondled them and ogled naked young men. He could be found perching himself on a stool to stare at athletes taking a shower, multiple times a day, for no apparent reason. Some also claimed that Strauss had them drop their pants even if they were looking to diagnose a cough or heartburn. Many a time, he badgered students to go home with him after groping them barehanded during physical exams, reported AP.
Even after the said athletes complained to a coach and another school physician, Strauss wasn't stopped, according to two of the athletes who spoke to AP.
Dave Mulvin, the school's former wrestling team captain, said he had to abruptly end a medical exam when Strauss fondled him in the late 1970s. He later went to finish the exam to the student health center and complained about the incident to another doctor, who reportedly "shrugged it off."
Nick Nutter, an All-American wrestler in the 1990s, said he had to make a hard decision every time he was injured whether to visit Strauss or not. “Is this injury bad enough that I’m going to get molested for it?” he asked himself, claiming quite a few athletes saw it as the price of getting treatment or medicine.
According to ex-wrestler Denyasha Yetts, Strauss shamelessly described the fondling as just "doing his job". After being groped during three exams, Yetts complained about Strauss to his coach, Russ Hellickson, who told him to stop behaving inappropriately.
In a statement, Hellickson said that he never ignored wrestlers who were being abused. But Jim Jordan, a former assistant coach who is now a powerful Republican congressman from Ohio, insisted that he was never aware of any abuse in a Fox News segment on Friday night. “It’s false. I never saw, never heard of, never was told about any type of abuse,” Jordan said. “If I had been, I would have dealt with it.”
However, Yetts and Mike DiSabatio, both former wrestlers, refuted Jordan's statement. According to DiSabato, he never spoke out about Strauss during his time because he did not recognize it as abuse and, more than that, he did not want to jeopardize his career in wrestling. Among wrestlers, DiSabato said that Strauss' inappropriate behavior was an open secret. He said that whenever a new teammate headed into his first medical exam with Strauss, they would sneer.
As the investigation delves deeper, more than 150 former athletes and witnesses have been interviewed so far, according to Ohio State. Anyone with information has been urged by the school to contact the investigators at Perkins Coie, a Seattle-based law firm.
On Thursday, the university said in a statement that it is “focused on uncovering what may have happened during this era, what university leaders at the time may have known, and whether any response at the time was appropriate.”
“We remain steadfastly committed to uncovering the truth,” it added.
After the university learned of the sexual misconduct allegations in April, it announced that a full-fledged investigation into Strauss had been opened. That being said, allegations raised against the lecherous doctor weren't limited to his activities on the school campus.
According to Brian Garett, a former nursing student who briefly did administrative work for Strauss' off-campus men's clinic in the mid-1990s said that he resigned from his position after witnessing his abuse and then experiencing it himself. Shockingly, Strauss had the nursing student stand nearby during one exam when he fondled a patient to orgasm.
During the same shift but sometime later, Strauss asked him if he had any ailments that he would like to be checked. Garett responded by saying he had heartburn. Strauss then started to unbutton Garrett's pants and subsequently groped the helpless employee for a considerable amount of time. “Then I just pulled up my pants, and I can’t believe this just happened,” Garrett said. “I just had heartburn.”
Now, Garrett wants to know if officials at Ohio State failed to intervene even after having knowledge about the horror doctor's misconduct. “A guy doesn’t touch — inappropriately — hundreds of people and somebody doesn’t know about it,” he said.