Late Ohio State team doctor sexually abused 177 men

Late Ohio State team doctor sexually abused 177 men

The report was the result of a yearlong investigation by the law firm the Perkins, Coie LLP and involved interviews with more than 500 former students and university employees.

"We are so sorry that this happened", Ohio State President Michael Drake said at a news conference, using words like "shocking", "horrifying" and "heartbreaking" to describe the findings.

Numerous student-athletes who were interviewed said they didn't make a formal complaint because they didn't want to "stir up trouble", or were afraid of losing their spot on their sports team, which could have scholarship implications.

The university says the lawsuits are in mediation.

Ohio State President Michael Drake issued a statement as he released the report, offering: "profound regret and honest apologies to each person who endured Strauss's abuse", and calling the situation a "fundamental failure" of the school.

Many of Strauss' accusers who have spoken publicly said they were masturbated or otherwise touched inappropriately during physical exams or leered at in the locker rooms.

The abusive examinations even became accepted by the students as being "hazed" or as going through "a rite of passage". Athletes joked about Strauss' behavior, referring to him with nicknames like "Dr Jelly Paws". The report found that student athletes from 16 different Ohio State teams were allegedly abused, not just wrestlers.

Ohio State has sought to have the lawsuits thrown out as being time-barred by law, but university leaders have insisted they're not ignoring the men's stories. Students also raised concerns about Strauss with assistant and associate athletic directors, two head team physicians, and a head team trainer, but nothing was ever done.

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"We hope that the report will force OSU to take responsibility for its failure to protect young students", Steve Estey, an attorney representing some of the victims, said in a statement.

No one has publicly defended him, though his family has said it was shocked by the allegations.

Asked if the report provided some closure for Jordan and his alleged role in the controversy, the lawmaker said, "I thought it was closed for me a long time ago and you guys know me - if I thought one of our athletes was being harmed, I've taken on the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I've taken on the IRS, John Boehner - I'd have done something". But students' allegations never left the department or the health centre until 1996.

At that point, Strauss was investigated and let go as a team doctor and physician at the health centre but was allowed to retain his tenured faculty position. Additionally, the investigation found that school officials knew and failed to investigate or stop him in any way. The abuse continued there. That included sending a letter in 1997 to then-university president Gordon Gee. He retired 18 years later with emeritus status, which the university said it plans to revoke.

Gee, now president of West Virginia University, said Friday he has no recollection of Strauss. Drake said the investigation alone has cost the school $6.2 million.

The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights also is examining whether Ohio State responded "promptly and equitably" to students' complaints.

Two lawsuits filed against Ohio State by dozens of plaintiffs allege school officials were aware of concerns about Strauss but didn't stop him.

Neither that congressman, Republican Rep Jim Jordan, nor any other coaches are mentioned by name in the report.

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