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Richard Strauss Accuser Pushes Ohio Legislature To Change Statute Of Limitations

Brian Garrett at his home in Powell, Ohio. Garrett is one of the lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Ohio State.
Mike Householder
Associated Press
Brian Garrett at his home in Powell, Ohio.

One of the men alleging abuse by Ohio State doctor Richard Strauss wants state lawmakers to get rid of the time limit to file legal claims of sexual abuse. 

Brian Garrett says he wants a credible investigation into his case and for hundreds of others making similar claims against Strauss, who died in 2005. Garrett said he briefly worked for Strauss’ off-campus men’s clinic in the 1990s, but says he quit after being groped by Strauss. He says he witnessed abuse of patients, as well.

But Garrett says the statute of limitations expired two years after the incident. He is pushing for Ohio lawmakers to waive that time limit for filing legal action.

“All of the lawmakers that I know, Democrat or Republican, all are good people and will do the right thing,” Garrett said. “But in my opinion, if the lawmakers don’t step up and open up the statute of limitations, then they are complicit.”

An Ohio State spokesman declined to comment on the proposed legislative effort. An investigation of the university, conducted by an outside law firm, has interviewed over 300 people, including athletes from 16 sports and patients from the men’s clinic.

So far, 145 people have come forward with first-hand accounts of abuse by Strauss. Allegations against Strauss span from 1979 to 1997.

Garrett says he doesn’t have faith in the school’s investigation because it lacks transparency and credibility, and he hopes the new website “Rights For Ohio State Victims” will hold the school accountable.

The school said its investigation could conclude fact-finding this fall.

More than a dozen former students are suing Ohio State for allegedly ignoring decades of abuse. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is conducting its own investigation into how the university handled the complaints.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.
Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.