Alleged Strauss victims want Ohio State to believe their stories of pain


Seven former students and athletes came forward to the Ohio State Board of Trustees Friday to share the painful stories of their interactions with Dr. Richard Strauss.

"What we dealt with was real and my story is real," said former two-time all-American Michael Schyck.

"I want everybody to look at me when I say this next statement, my situation, was 100 percent preventable," said former OSU student Brian Garrett.

Advertisement - Story continues below

These are stories no one should have to tell.

"I could not get the image of the predator out of my head as he stood over me and sexually assaulted me in that clinic," said Garrett.

All of them say their predator was former OSU Doctor Richard Strauss.

"What's worse is that coaches and administrator knew what's worse is that it didn't stop there," said Schyck.

Schyck said he never reported his abuse saying he assumed everyone knew it was going on.

Their stories began in the 1990's when they were 17 or 18 years old.

Friday, they said the toll it's taken on their lives has never gone away.

Strauss worked for the university for two decades, retiring in 1998. He killed himself in 2005.

The university says it is steadfastly committed to uncovering the truth, but an attorney representing one of the alleged victims says actions speak louder their words.

"They say they want to help they say they want to get to the bottom of this but in the lawsuits that we filed, they are filing lawsuits to dismiss. If they truly wanted to help they'd be sitting down and trying to resolve this case," said Attorney Scott Elliot Smith.

As for the victims, they feel the university betrayed them because, at the time, no one spoke for them.

"We didn't have a voice to say no," said Schyck.

According to Ohio State, "the allegations date from the period 1979 to 1997 and were reported confidentially to the investigative team by former students engaged in university athletics, including varsity men, student-athletes in 14 sports, and by former patients of Student Health Services. In August 1996, Strauss established a private medical office in Columbus outside the university setting, where individuals have reported that additional acts of sexual misconduct occurred. Perkins Coie, the law firm investigating the allegations, says it is also investigating whether, and to what extent, Strauss may have examined high school-aged students during his time at the university."

Ohio State has contacted more than 115,000 alumni and former student-athletes and reaching an additional 147,000 people through university-wide notifications. A university website houses information about the ongoing investigation, including resources for people who have experienced sexual misconduct.