On May 7, 2021, The Ohio State University announced that it is offering a new individual settlement program for eligible survivors in cases involving the abuses of Richard Strauss.
Ohio State released a report from independent investigators that details acts of sexual abuse against at least 177 former students by Dr. Richard Strauss during his employment with the university from 1978 to 1998. The report is the culmination of the 12-month investigation by Perkins Coie. Investigators concluded that university personnel at the time had knowledge of complaints and concerns about Strauss’ conduct as early as 1979 but failed to investigate or act meaningfully.
Investigators made every effort to protect the anonymity of survivors. Accordingly, the names of survivors are omitted from the report.
The report contains explicit descriptions of sexual abuse.
View the report
As of October 1, 2019, this version of the Perkins Coie investigative report includes previously redacted information relating to the State Medical Board of Ohio’s investigatory file on Strauss. Nothing in the newly unredacted portions of the report compromises the anonymity of survivors.
Note that this is an accessible copy of the report. Please email the Office of University Compliance and Integrity with questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On April 5, 2018, Ohio State announced the initiation of an independent, external investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against a former university-employed physician.
The independent investigators interviewed more than 500 individuals in total and reviewed documents dating back to the relevant time period.
Perkins Coie worked with Ohio State to release regular investigation updates to the public over the past year in order to empower others to determine whether they would want to come forward. As part of that process, Ohio State broadly communicated about the investigation, contacting 115,000 alumni and former student-athletes and reaching an additional 147,000 people through university-wide notifications.
All updates have been posted on this site.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office appointed Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP as legal counsel for the university. In turn, Porter Wright engaged Perkins Coie LLP to conduct an independent investigation of the matter.
The investigative team at Perkins Coie was led by two partners in its White Collar & Investigations practice with extensive relevant experience: Markus Funk, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, and Caryn Trombino, a former federal government ethics attorney.
Addressing sexual misconduct and abuse
Ohio State has committed substantial resources to prevent and address sexual misconduct over the past two decades. Developed and implemented by many different stakeholders across the university, these wide-ranging efforts include new policies, programs, staffing and tools, which are summarized here.
The university announced earlier this year that it will cover the cost of professionally certified counseling for those affected by Strauss. The counseling is offered through Praesidium, which has extensive experience in providing confidential and sensitive support services. No contact with the university is required, and Praesidium will not share information with Ohio State. Affected individuals can engage in counseling for as long as needed. For those who have received counseling as a result of Strauss’ actions, the university will reimburse those costs through Praesidium. For more information, please visit https://website.praesidiuminc.com/wp/osu or call 888-961-9273.
Ohio State actively promotes a safe and healthy campus climate for students, faculty, staff and visitors. The university does not tolerate sexual misconduct and is committed to advancing a culture of civility and respect. Ohio State leaders urge anyone who has experienced sexual misconduct to report to the Office of Institutional Equity, the university’s anonymous reporting service or law enforcement.
Survivors who have experienced any form of sexual misconduct outside of Ohio State are also encouraged to contact local law enforcement. Additional resources include:
- If you reside in the Columbus, Ohio, area, advocates from the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO) can assist you in reporting, explain the investigation process and accompany you to any meeting. SARNCO’s confidential, 24/7 support hotline is 614-267-7020.
- If you do not reside in the Columbus area, you can contact the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline, a confidential, 24/7 resource, at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). You can also visit the website to chat live with a representative. Advocates will help you find a resource in your community.