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Former Ohio State Wrestler Angered By Judge's Decision To Dismiss Richard Strauss Lawsuits

Dr. Richard Strauss
Associated Press

A judge’s decision to dismiss all lawsuits against Ohio State University for alleged sexual abuse by former team doctor Richard Strauss angers former wrestler Mike Schyck.

“I’m angry at Ohio State,” Schyck said. “I’m angry at the judge. I’m angry at the legislators.”

Schyck is part of a group of more than 100 former OSU students who have alleged sexual abuse by Strauss between 1978-1998.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Watson dismissed the cases Wednesday and said that Ohio State officials turned a blind eye and the university failed the survivors. He also said that now the legal system also has failed them. However, he agreed with OSU's argument that the legal window for such claims had passed.

Schyck said that conclusion is not surprising.

“Along the way, all Ohio State has done is fought us in courts to dismiss this and they got what they wanted,” he said.

Schyck said the case is not about money, but instead about the university being held accountable. He and nearly 100 others turned down a settlement with OSU to the tune of $47 million.

“We weren’t wanting just to settle, to get a monetary settlement. Because if you look at the settlement, they put in there they were going to deny any wrongdoing whatsoever so why would anybody put their name to something like that.”

The law firm of Estey and Bombarger in San Diego is handling the group of nearly 100 plaintiffs including Schyck.

Attorney Stephen Estey said the plaintiffs had filed motions for Watson to recuse himself because of a conflict of interest involving Watson’s wife and a business relationship selling OSU-related merchandise. Estey also said that Watson teaches at OSU’s Mortiz College of Law. The judge dismissed those motions.

In an emailed statement, Ohio State spokesman Ben Johnson wrote, “Beginning in 2018, Ohio State sought to uncover and acknowledge the truth about Richard Strauss’ abuse and the university’s failure at the time to prevent it. We are forever grateful to the survivors who participated in the independent Perkins Coie investigation, which could not have been completed without their strength and courage, and we offer our deepest regrets and apologies to all who experienced Strauss’ abuse.”

“The university has reached settlement agreements with more than 230 survivors and will continue to cover the cost of professionally certified counseling services and treatment for anyone affected by Strauss.”

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.