19 News speaks to attorney filing OSU sexual abuse lawsuit

19 News speaks to attorney filing OSU sexual abuse lawsuit
Dr. Richard Strauss is accused of sexually abusing 177 OSU students between the years of 1978 and 1998

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Attorney Michael Wright is now going after Ohio State University on behalf of his clients who are former athletes. The suit claims OSU could have stopped the alleged sexual abuse that took place over the span of 20 years at the hands of Athletic Doctor, Richard Strauss.

"That is a systematic failure by the university that seems to be a cover up in trying to protect the reputation of the university as opposed to protecting the students," said Wright.

19 News speaks to attorney filing OSU sexual abuse lawsuit

In a redacted investigative report, the doctor's behavior is called an "open secret" to more than 50 staff members in OSU's athletic department.

"I think it's horrible. I think it's absolutely terrible that Ohio State has swept this under the rug with all of these allegations of sexual abuse and they did nothing," added Wright.

Friday, University President Micahel Drake sent a letter of apology to current students, faculty and staff - calling the report's findings "shocking and painful to comprehend". Wright suggests that's a clear admission of guilt on the institution's behalf.

"Ohio State is is admitting that they knew about these complaints - they knew about Strauss' behavior and they did not do anything."

Strauss committed suicide back in 2005 but the stories of his alleged abuse are still very much alive. In total. 177 students are believed to have been victimized by the doctor. Most of the athletes named in the report were members of the wrestling team. Wright however insists there are even more. Most of his clients were on the football team.

"Initially it was a few wrestlers, it was a few fencing team members and maybe a few swimmers but this is the football team. These are football players that endured this" concluded Wright.

At this point it’s unclear of how much Wright and his clients are going after OSU for in damages. However as more of this comes to light, additional athletes are starting to come forward to speak out against the institution.

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