Victims of Ohio State University doctor who molested nearly 177 students speak up: 'It’s even more widespread than we knew'

Dr. Richard Strauss, who used to work at the University tending to athletes from over 16 sports and worked at the student health center as well as his private clinic, would allegedly conduct 'unnecessary examinations' on the students


                            Victims of Ohio State University doctor who molested nearly 177 students speak up: 'It’s even more widespread than we knew'

Victims of the doctor are now speaking out about the atrocities. Kent Kilgore, a former Ohio state swimmer, said in a statement that the University should take responsibility for what happened. "Dreams were broken, relationships with loved ones were damaged, and the harm now carries over to our children, as many of us have become so overprotective that it strains the relationship with our kids," he said.

We previously reported that a recent independent investigative report revealed that a former Ohio State University doctor sexually abused at least 177 male students over nearly two decades, and university officials knew about what was going on and did barely anything to stop him. Dr. Richard Strauss, who used to work at the University tending to athletes from over 16 sports and worked at the student health center as well as his private clinic, would allegedly conduct "unnecessary examinations" on the students and also reportedly groped them. 

Former nursing student Brian Garrett, who worked at the off-campus clinic that Strauss had said that he quit after witnessing the abuse and going through it himself, shared, "We knew that it was systemic and it had been reported."

"It's even more widespread than we knew," Garrett said referring to Larry Nassar, of Michigan State University, who was accused of molesting at least 250 women and girls. "We did not get to put him on trial. The police did not get to investigate. That’s why it’s worse than the MSU case," Garrett said. "He took the easy way out."

Strauss, who was with the University from 1979 to 1997, committed suicide in 2005. Many athletes reported that they did have genital exams that didn't seem necessary at all and students also said that the doctor's sexual misconduct was actually an "open secret" on campus. Many students have alleged that trainers, coaches, and other doctors also knew about what was going on with Strauss and that they were touched inappropriately and stared at in the locker rooms that made them uncomfortable. One of the coaches mentioned also happens to be a Congressman. U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, who used to coach wrestling at Ohio State University, was interviewed regarding these allegations. Apart from him, around 20 other officials were also alleged to have knowledge of the misconduct.

This 1992 image made from video provided by WBNS-TV, shows Dr. Richard Strauss. A report released on Friday, May 17, 2017, found that the now-dead Ohio State team doctor sexually abused at least 177 male students from the 1970s through the 1990s, and numerous university officials got wind of what was going on over the years but did little or nothing to stop him. (WBNS-TV via AP)

A fencer from the early 1990s told the Associated Press that during his first examination with the doctor, he told him to "fully disrobe, complimented his collar bones, and then sat with his head near the athlete’s crotch and commented about being in a vulnerable position." He spoke about the incident to his trainer but nothing was ever done about it. At least 50 members of the athletic department staff, including many coaches, corroborated victims' accounts of Strauss' abuse, the report said.

The University has a record of a misconduct complaint against Strauss from 1995 but the report claims that it went all the way back to the time he joined the University, in late 1970. However, the investigation found a letter from Strauss from 1997 to the then president Gordon Gee requesting that he be able to keep his job. The letter came forth after complaints against him started piling up. Gee is now president of West Virginia University. 

Strauss' sexual misconduct had earned him the name "Dr. Jelly Paws'" among the athletes as a joke. The report revealed that many students felt like the examinations were like a "rite of passage". Some have described it as being "hazed". 

Steve Estey, an attorney for some of the former students who are suing, said Ohio State should take care of the victims, as it promised six months ago. "We hope that the report will force OSU to take responsibility for its failure to protect young students," he said. "If OSU refuses to take responsibility, we will continue with civil litigation and put this in front of a jury for 12 people to judge their actions."