07:06 AM

Ohio State shares updates on independent investigation of allegations involving former university physician

The Ohio State University shared a status report today in an ongoing independent investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against a former university-employed physician.

The original allegations were contained in a report from an alleged victim who indicated he and others experienced sexual misconduct by Dr. Richard Strauss. Dr. Strauss was employed by the university from the mid-1970s to the 1990s. Dr. Strauss died in 2005.

Since the April 5 announcement of the allegations and investigation, the university has learned that during his time at Ohio State, Dr. Strauss treated student-athletes from several sports, worked at the medical center, and the student health center. To date, the investigative team has received confidential reports from former Ohio State varsity men student-athletes affiliated with cheerleading, fencing, football, gymnastics, ice hockey, swimming, volleyball and wrestling. We are sharing this information to encourage our community past and present to come forward.

It is important that anyone with information about incidents relating to Dr. Strauss and his time at Ohio State contact investigators at osu@perkinscoie.com.

The university will continue to provide updates and report the outcome of the investigation upon its completion.

The university originally communicated that Bricker & Eckler LLP would be leading the investigation, but a legal conflict precluded its involvement. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office appointed Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP as legal counsel for the university, and in turn, Porter Wright engaged Perkins Coie LLP to conduct an independent investigation of the matter. Its work is in progress. The investigative team at Perkins Coie is led by two partners in its White Collar & Investigations practice with extensive relevant experience: Markus Funk, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, and Caryn Trombino, a former federal government ethics attorney.

This matter has been referred to the Columbus Division of Police and the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for any potential criminal investigation. The Attorney General has committed the resources of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to assist in any criminal investigation, if requested.

Ohio State actively promotes a safe and healthy campus climate for students, faculty, staff and visitors. The university does not tolerate sexual misconduct and is committed to advancing a culture of civility and respect. If anyone has experienced any form of sexual misconduct while enrolled at Ohio State, and the incident involved another student or university employee, they are encouraged to report to the Office of University Compliance and Integrity, our anonymous reporting service or law enforcement.

If anyone has experienced any form of sexual misconduct at any point outside of Ohio State, please contact local law enforcement. Additional resources include:

  • If you reside in the Columbus, Ohio, area, advocates from the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO) can assist you in reporting, explain the investigation process and accompany you to any meeting. SARNCO’s confidential, 24/7 support hotline is 614-267-7020.
  • If you do not reside in the Columbus area, you can contact the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline, a confidential, 24/7 resource, at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). You can also visit the website to chat live with a representative. Advocates will help you find a resource in your community.