U.S. Department of Education investigating Ohio State doctor abuse allegations

Former Ohio State physician Richard Strauss.
Former Ohio State physician Richard Strauss.

The Civil Rights office of the U.S. Department of Education has launched a Title IX investigation into allegations of abuse against a now-dead Ohio State University doctor.

Richard Strauss was a wrestling team physician employed by the university from the mid-1970s to 1990s. he died in 2005. More than 100 students have come forward to report first-hand accounts of sexual misconduct by Strauss, OSU announced last month.

» RELATED: Sex abuse policy under scrutiny at Ohio colleges

The federal investigation will be conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s regional civil rights office based in Cleveland, according to a press release this morning from OSU.

The probe will look at whether Ohio State officials are “responding promptly and equitably to complaints and reports by former students, including allegations that employees knew or should have known about the sexual misconduct and allowed the abuse to continue,” according to the release.

In total, the university’s independent investigators have interviewed more than 200 former students and staff with information about Strauss.

Investigators from the law firm Perkins Coie LLP plan to interview more than 100 additional people and remain in regular communication with the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, Ohio State said in late July.

» RELATED: More than 100 former Ohio State students report sexual misconduct by doctor

“We welcome the involvement and careful oversight of OCR and look forward to providing any information we can,” Gates Garrity-Rokous, OSU vice president and chief compliance officer said in a prepared statement. “We responded promptly and appropriately to the allegations received in April about Dr. Strauss. We are confident in the independence and thoroughness of the investigation we launched then as well as our ongoing commitment to transparency.”

In August 1996, Strauss established a private medical office in Columbus outside the university, where individuals have reported that additional acts of sexual misconduct occurred. Perkins Coie is also investigating whether, and to what extent, Strauss may have examined high school-aged students during his time at the university, according to Ohio State.


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