The lawsuits allege that Dr. Richard Strauss sexually assaulted student-athletes for a period of 20 years when he worked at Ohio State from 1978 to 1998.
An amended lawsuit was filed against Ohio State University, accusing the university of being indifferent when it comes to allegations of sexual misconduct that could have prevented a former university physician from sexually assaulting as many as 2,500 victims. .
The amended lawsuit, filed in federal court in Columbus on Friday, is one of three that the university has tried to rule out, saying it's been too long since the assaults occurred.
The lawsuits allege that Dr. Richard Strauss sexually assaulted student athletes while working in the State of Ohio from 1978 to 1998. He committed suicide in 2005.
The university's attempt to dismiss the case shows that the State of Ohio is not interested in helping victims heal, said those involved in the case. It also arrives before a university investigation has been completed.
The amended lawsuit must stop the university's effort to dismiss the case, said the attorneys for the 39 plaintiffs in the case.
"For 40 years – from 1978 until it undertook an investigation in 2018 – the university has been deliberately indifferent to the safety of its student body to, as detailed in this complaint, not investigate the numerous complaints of Dr's misbehavior and harassment. Strauss, "the lawsuit amended. "If he had complied with his obligation to do so, an obligation that is not only social and moral, but also legal, the assault, abuse and suffering of the plaintiffs in this document would have been avoided."
The State of Ohio said on Saturday that its attempt to dismiss the cases is not directed at those with claims against Strauss.
"We are deeply concerned about anyone who has been affected by the actions of Richard Strauss several decades ago and remain firmly committed to discovering the truth," said spokesman Benjamin Johnson in a written statement. "When today's university received reports of sexual misconduct, we take immediate and unequivocal steps to arrive at the truth and fulfill one of our core values: that we do not tolerate sexual misconduct."
He will review the new presentation and respond appropriately, Johnson said.
The state of Ohio can not discuss the details of the investigation, he said.
Anyone who has information about the case can contact Perkins. Coie, the Seattle-based law firm that the university has hired to investigate, at email@example.com.
The initial complaint was mainly about Strauss. The new version is more focused on accusations that Ohio State, the coaches and the training staff could have done more to stop Strauss.
In addition, the case now includes 39 victims, compared to four when the complaint was first filed.
The lawsuit estimates that Strauss could have assaulted 1,500 to 2,500 male students and student athletes in his 20 years in the state of Ohio, and that Ohio State "facilitated its abuse by requiring athletic students to undergo annual physicals with Dr. Strauss to participate in OSU athletics and keep his scholarships. "
The lawsuit says that researchers working on behalf of the university interviewed more than 200 students and staff, including more than 100 former students who report first-hand accounts of abuse and harassment.
"OSU knows who the members of the various sports team from 1978-2004 were, and who the male patients in their clinic were from 1978-2004, but they do" There is nothing that identifies where they are now, and contact them. Instead, they claim they do not want to "re-traumatize" them by mentioning the past, "the lawsuit said." This implies that OSU knows that each male athlete was likely to have been mistreated, that the abuse itself was painful, that have repressed for decades and that dealing with it is painful even now. "
An attorney for victims, Rex Sharp, asked Ohio State to follow the example set by other universities, such as Michigan State, Penn State and USC, where there have been similar cases of multiple victims of sexual assault by someone linked to the universities, and the victims in their entirety
"These institutions have repaired compensating their victims and making dramatic and lasting changes. But OSU continues to refuse, hoping to do a self-examination and declare itself healthy, "Sharp said." OSU must be brought to justice. "
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