CLEVELAND — A local attorney is fighting for justice for the victims of alleged sexual abuse by a team physician at The Ohio State University.
The alleged sex abuse by Ohio State team doctor Richard Strauss took place between 1978 and 1998. Strauss committed suicide in 2005.
An independent investigation found that Strauss committed unwanted sex acts, excessive groping and fondling, during routine medical exams on at least 177 men who were students, many of them athletes.
“What happened was not okay and I don’t want to go in to it on TV. It’s graphic, ugly and awful. It’s indescribable,” said Cleveland attorney Dan Karon.
Karon represents one of the alleged victims who is reportedly from northern Ohio.
He said his client was a wrestler at Ohio State in the 1980s when the alleged sex abuse happened.
Karon is joining six other attorneys to file a class action lawsuit against Ohio State to lump the cases into one.
He wants compensation for the clients and he wants the lawsuit to send a message that cases like this should never be covered up.
“It was kept quiet,” Karon said.
Ohio State has filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed based in part that the statute of limitations ran out.
But, Karon argues that the lawsuit can proceed because he says the alleged cover up continued long after the statute of limitations ran out at the time.
“The administration and the officials there dismissed it as something not to clamor about, not to worry about, because that’s just what happened. God forbid we should dismiss the holy Ohio State sports infrastructure,” Karon said.
Karon said research shows sex abuse victims suffer emotional scars long after their abused.
“You send your kid to school. He comes back having had this happen to him. It’s not okay. Kids dropped out of school. Blew up their scholarships and quit. Horrible consequences,” Karon said.
Karon said Ohio State should’ve taken action from the beginning when students first raised the allegations.
“The bottom line is that you want folks to take responsibility when they screw up, especially as egregious, awful and sickening as this,” Karon said.
Ohio State University President Michael Drake apologized on behalf of the university. He said the school didn’t thoroughly investigate the allegations.