COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — About 1,500 instances of decades-old sexual misconduct by a now-deceased Ohio State team doctor were reported last year and this year, the university disclosed Tuesday.
It also revealed that the members of its new task force to help address sexual misconduct on college campuses include experts, such as the man who leads the clearinghouse for reports of sex abuse in Olympic sports, but no abuse survivors.
The university announced plans for the panel four months ago, shortly after an investigation concluded that former team doctor Richard Strauss sexually abused young men between 1979 and 1997 while school officials who heard concerns didn’t stop him.
A few of the 300-plus men alleging misconduct by Strauss have questioned whether the panel’s creation is meaningful action or a public-relations maneuver.
Ohio State said the task force will help it and other campuses learn from findings of the investigation and prevent abuse, and that survivors will be part of that process. It said Strauss survivors who have sued the school in federal court couldn’t be included on the panel because of the pending lawsuits, which are in mediation toward a possible settlement.
The task force will be led by Alan Michaels, a professor and dean emeritus in Ohio State’s law college. It also will include Regis Becker, the interim CEO of the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and academic professionals in related fields.
Allegations about Strauss raised last year by an ex-wrestler prompted the investigation. Some of the accusers have publicly recounted experiencing multiple instances of abuse.
Nearly 1,000 instances of fondling and 30 instances of rape by Strauss were reported or identified in 2018 and reflected in the latest campus crime data the school made public Tuesday under the federal Clery Act. More allegations will be reflected in the school’s Clery information next year, which would include any old instances reported during the current calendar year.
Ohio State said 437 instances of fondling and 17 instances of rape linked to Strauss have been identified so far in 2019.
The university also disclosed Tuesday that it found more old athletics records and communications memos referencing Strauss that were found over the summer, after the Strauss investigation. The law firm that conducted the investigation for the school reviewed the newly found documents and determined they don’t change its conclusions, Ohio State said.
No one has publicly defended Strauss, who died in 2005.