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Investigation Finds More Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Former Ohio State Doctor

Aerial view of The Oval on Ohio State University's campus
Ohio State University
Ohio State University

The investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against a former Ohio State doctor has nearly doubled to include athletes from 14 sports and non-students from outside of campus.

Athletes from 14 men’s sports have so far come forward to accuse Dr. Richard Strauss of sexual misconduct during his time at The Ohio State University, up from the eight programs identified in May. Investigators have also uncovered allegations against Strauss at non-athletic campus health facilities and from patients who saw the doctor at a private medical office in Columbus.  

Strauss held a number of positions at the school between 1978 and 1996, including serving as team physician for the athletics program from 1981 to 1995. In 1996, Strauss established a private medical office in Columbus. Strauss died in 2005.

Investigators updated university trustees of the newest findings at a board meeting on Thursday. The outside law firm Perkins Coie LLP is conducting interviews with 130 people in connection with their investigation.

In a letter to the board, special counsel Kathleen Trafford explains the team is looking into what happened and whether university officials were aware of any allegations. She notes the task has been difficult because many records from the time in question have either been archived or destroyed.

Ohio State president Michael Drake sent an email in May to 112,613 alumni who attended the school during Strauss' tenure, requesting any information related to the allegations. The school launched a website to collect input about the investigation.

The school has also referred the case to Columbus Police and the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office for a potential criminal investigation.

According to Ohio State, allegations have emerged from athletes in baseball, cheerleading, cross country, fencing, football, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball and wrestling.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.