University shares updates related to ongoing Strauss investigation
Investigators have now interviewed over 200 former students and staff
The Ohio State University shared an update today on the continuing, independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct raised against Richard Strauss, a former university-employed physician from the mid-1970s to the 1990s. He died in 2005.
“We are grateful to those who have come forward and remain deeply concerned for anyone who may have been affected by Dr. Strauss’ actions,” said Ohio State President Michael V. Drake. “We remain steadfastly committed to uncovering the truth.”
On April 5, Ohio State announced the initiation of the investigation into Strauss. Since that time, the independent investigators at Perkins Coie LLP, an international law firm with expertise in these matters, have completed interviews with more than 200 former students and university staff believed to have information concerning the allegations involving Strauss.
This includes confidential interviews with more than 100 former students who report firsthand accounts of sexual misconduct committed by Strauss.
Investigators expect to conduct more than 100 additional interviews and remain in regular communication with the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office.
The allegations date from the period 1979 to 1997 and were reported confidentially to the investigative team by former students engaged in university athletics, including varsity men student-athletes in 14 sports, and by former patients of Student Health Services. In August 1996, Strauss established a private medical office in Columbus outside the university setting, 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.
The university continues to encourage anyone with information about incidents relating to Strauss and his time at Ohio State to contact investigators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The identity of those who contact Perkins Coie will be treated with the utmost confidence and sensitivity permitted by law, and individuals may report anonymously if they wish.
The independent investigative team is using the most trauma-informed approach to an investigation of this type, which does not include reaching out to prospective victims directly due to the concern of re-traumatizing those who may have been affected and do not wish to revisit the experience. Perkins Coie has worked with Ohio State to release regular updates to the public in order to empower others to determine whether they want to come forward.
As a result, Ohio State has broadly communicated about the investigation, contacting more than 115,000 alumni and former student-athletes and reaching an additional 147,000 people through university-wide notifications. A university website houses information about the ongoing investigation, including resources for people who have experienced sexual misconduct.
The Ohio State University remains actively committed to uncovering what may have happened and what university leaders at the time may have known. The university will continue to provide updates as the independent investigation progresses and report the outcome upon its completion.