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Ohio State Sexual Abuse Victims Represented by Sharp Law, Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, and Estey & Bomberger Say Independent Investigation Supports Their Claims
[May 18, 2019]

Ohio State Sexual Abuse Victims Represented by Sharp Law, Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, and Estey & Bomberger Say Independent Investigation Supports Their Claims

A year-long investigation into allegations that Ohio State doctor Richard Strauss sexually abused students confirms that 177 male students, primarily student-athletes, were assaulted over a nearly 20-year period.

The findings by investigators from Seattle-based Perkins Coie are included in a report released today. The report also confirms that University officials had "knowledge of Strauss' sexually abusive treatment as early as 1979."

The report says complaints about Strauss' conduct were not elevated beyond the OSU Athletic Department or Student Health services until 1996.

"The fact that key OSU personnel received valid complaints about sexual abuse by Dr. Strauss over several decades and chose not to respond in an appropriate manner or take any type of corrective action is very disappointing," victim Roger Beedon said. "Hopefully, former OSU athletes like me can now begin to recover from being sexually abused."

Beedon played hockey at Ohio State in the late 1980s and is a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the university that was filed last summer.

OSU has atempted to have the class action lawsuit dismissed because the statute of limitations for reporting Strauss' abuse expired years ago.

That's why Rep. Brett Hillyer introduced legislation May 16 to extend Ohio's statute of limitations.

"OSU should put its full weight behind Rep. Hillyer's bill so that survivors can seek redress," attorney Rex Sharp (News - Alert) said. "That would show OSU intends to clean up its own mess and will not leave that costly burden on the survivors or the taxpaying public."

Victim Brian Garrett agrees.

"OSU is a unique state institution that has its own financial assets, so it can pay for the harm caused to sexual abuse victim," Garrett said.

OSU President Michael Drake said Friday that the university's "fundamental failure" to prevent and investigate the abuse was "unacceptable."

Victim Kent Kilgore, who was a swimmer in the early 1980s, also weighed in on the report.

"I want my university to take full responsibility for the harm caused to me and my fellow alumni," Kilgore said. "Dreams were broken, relationships with loved ones were damaged and the harm now carries over to our children as many of us have become so overprotective that it strains the relationship with our kids."

The Perkins Coie report underscored Kilgore's concerns.

"Most Strauss victims were hesitant to come forward, but many explained their own children are college-aged and they wanted to ensure this didn't happen at OSU or anywhere again," the report said.

The report concluded that with "rare" exceptions the victims' accounts were credible and their descriptions of Strauss' behavior were "remarkably similar."

The law firms continue their investigation into OSU's role, and urge victims and witnesses to call (800) 474-5201.

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