Ex-Ohio State wrestlers sue school
claiming it ignored sexual abuse
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[July 18, 2018]
By Peter Szekely
(Reuters) - Four former Ohio State
University varsity wrestlers sued the school on Monday, claiming its
athletic doctor sexually abused them and others over 20 years and the
school failed to stop it.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ohio, claimed the
university ignored abusive behavior by the late Dr. Richard Strauss and
said coaches and higher level officials were aware of his abuse.
"The rampant sexual abuse and culture of sexual abuse was reported to
Ohio State administrators and to the head of the athletic department,"
the complaint said. "But these officials turned a blind eye to the
Ohio State said it was aware of the lawsuit and was reviewing the
"We are aware of reports that individuals at the university did not
respond appropriately during that era," said Benjamin Johnson, a
spokesman for the university. "These allegations are troubling and are a
critical focus of the investigation."
Not mentioned in the lawsuit was U.S. Representative Jim Jordan, a
former wrestling coach at the university, who was accused earlier this
month by several former student wrestlers of failing to stop the
molestation even after being told about it.
Ian Fury, a spokesman for Jordan, disputed the claims, telling Reuters
immediately after the allegations were made that the Ohio Republican
never saw or heard about any abuse, nor was it ever reported to him
while he was a coach.
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Michigan State University recently agreed to pay $500 million to
settle claims by 332 women that they were sexually abused by
gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who served at an on-campus clinic at
the university and at the USA Gymnastics federation.
Nassar was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty last year to
criminal sexual conduct.
In the 23-page lawsuit filed on Monday the four plaintiffs each
alleged that they were "sexually assaulted, battered, molested,
and/or harassed" by Strauss, mostly in the 1990s during their
physicals. Strauss retired from the university in 1998 and committed
suicide in 2005.
The lawsuit seeks punitive damages to be determined by a jury and
other damages and expenses.
(Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Additional reporting by Tea
Kvetenadze in New York; Editing by Frank McGurty)
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