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Richard Strauss sex abuse survivor reacts to court ruling reviving lawsuits against OSU

Steve Snyder-Hill
Matthew Rand
Steve Snyder-Hill is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against Ohio State University stemming from sexual abuse by the late team doctor Richard Strauss.

Some former Ohio State students are relieved after a federal appeals court ruling revived unsettled lawsuits against the university over decades-old sexual abuse by the late team doctor Richard Strauss.

In a self-commissioned report, Ohio State says Strauss sexually abused more than 170 mostly male victims between 1979 and 1996.

Last year, a judge dismissed most of the unsettled cases against the university, acknowledging the abuse took place but deciding the statute of limitations had expired.

A federal appeals court ruling Wednesday reversed that decision. It was a welcome surprise for Strauss survivor Steve Snyder-Hill.

"It gives me optimism because OSU has 10,000 employees and any one of those employees could commit sexual assault. So they have to prove to the public that they somehow can control that," Snyder-Hill said.

"All they've proven to us is that they can hide it, and they can cover it up, and how they can fight for five years. And they better really reverse that image, because now they have to prove to the parents that send their kids to OSU today, that they aren't going to do that to their kids," he said.

A university spokesman said in a statement that OSU is reviewing the court's decision and emphasized that all students who filed lawsuits were offered the chance to settle.

Snyder-Hill said OSU has "waged a war" on him and other Strauss survivors, and they're tired. He distinguishes between being a survivor of Strauss and a victim of OSU.

"Not only do they have the audacity to do this, but then they stand up to the public and say, 'They're so brave. These guys are so brave.' It's just so gross. It's so manipulative," he said. "They've chose this path and they deserve every bit of what they get coming."

The appeals court's decision sends the case back to district court.