[CW: The following story details reports of sexual abuse on a university campus and in a medical setting]
According to ABC6 a federal court has given the go ahead for dozens of plaintiffs to sue Ohio State University (OSU) over the university’s handling of the sex abuse scandal involving the late Dr. Richard Strauss.
The court permitted the lawsuit to go forward after mediation between the plaintiffs and OSU broke down.
In March OSU settled 11 other lawsuits that were filed against them over the Strauss scandal (per NBC News). Those lawsuits were brought forward by around 350 men who accused Strauss of sexually abusing them while he was working as a team doctor for OSU’s sports teams. Many of Strauss’ accusers were members of OSU’s wrestling team.
Strauss, who died by suicide in 2005, worked as a team doctor at OSU from 1979 to 1998. Strauss also saw OSU students at an off-campus medical clinic during that time.
Among the claims in the various lawsuits launched against OSU is that university administration failed to protect students from Strauss, despite having knowledge of accusations against Strauss.
Former wrestler Mike DiSabato, who was part of one of the settled lawsuits, claimed he was groped by Strauss during a medical exam. He said he reported this incident to one of his coaches; Jim Jordan. DiSabato, and other wrestlers, have accused Jordan — now a US congressman for the state of Ohio — of acknowledging the abuse was taken place, but failing to take action.
Among those former OSU wrestlers who claimed Jordan had knowledge of Strauss’ abuse was UFC Hall of Famer Marc Coleman.
Coleman told the Wall Street Journal; “There’s no way unless he’s got dementia or something that he’s got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State. I have nothing but respect for this man, I love this man, but he knew as far as I’m concerned.”
The former UFC heavyweight champion later walked back that comment when speaking to CNN. “I was angry and said words that I shouldn’t have said,” stated Coleman. “He may have known about some locker room banter, because we did joke about it in the locker room, but I don’t know of anyone ever reporting it to Jim Jordan directly.”
Jordan has repeatedly stated that he had no knowledge of accusations against Strauss while he was at OSU.
Survivors of sexual assault can find support via the following organizations:
US – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)’s National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). RAINN also has an online chat service.
Love is Respect, 1-866-331-9474. They can also be reached via online chat or by texting LOVEIS to 22522.
End Rape on Campus (EROC), 1-424-777-EROC (3762).
Canada – Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, 1-877-232-2610.
UK and Ireland – UK Says No More.
Rest of the World – International Rape Crisis Hotlines.
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