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Ohio State Likely Faces More Lawsuits From Richard Strauss Accusers

The Ohio State University campus sign
Angie Wang
/
Associated Press

A Dayton attorney is preparing to file yet another lawsuit against The Ohio State University over alleged abuse by former team doctor Richard Strauss.

Michael Wright represents more than 50 student athletes who claim the former doctor assaulted them in the course of medical exams. Among those is Mike DiSabato, the first athlete to publicly come forward with allegations.

Wright expects the complaint to be ready by the end of the week. He says his case highlights Strauss’ impact on the football program.

“I represent a lot of football players,” he notes. “And that was—it wasn’t known that a lot of players were sexually abused by Dr. Strauss.”

Following the release of an independent report showing university officials knew about Strauss' conduct, Ohio State president Michael Drake said the school is a “fundamentally different institution than we were then and we have many more avenues for people to share concerns.”

Drake called former officials’ failure to report “inexplicable.”

Wright says his clients are looking for three things.

“I think they want measures in place to prevent this from happening, I think a lot of these individuals are going to need and need counseling, I think clearly because of what they endured they deserve to be compensated," Wright says.

The university recently established an Office of Institutional Equity to oversee complaints of sexual or gender-based harassment, as well as Title IX and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. Ohio State is also offering to pay for counseling for those impacted by Strauss.

Two other federal cases, which a judge consolidated into one proceeding, are set to enter mediation in June.