COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) — A federal class-action lawsuit has been filed by four former Ohio State University wrestlers against the University regarding sexual abuse from the team doctor, Richard Strauss, who died back in 2005, according to NBC News.
The wrestlers claim that administrators knew about the abuse, which occurred more than 20 years ago, and did nothing to stop it.
The lawsuit states that during routine medical examinations, the male athletes involved in 14 sports were subjected to “excessive and medically unnecessary fondling, touching, and groping.”
Ohio State announced in April that it had opened an investigation into the misconduct.
The complaint says that coaches and administrators were “repeatedly informed” of Strauss’s abuse.
According to the lawsuit, one student made a complaint about Strauss to the university’s student health center in 1978. In the mid-90s, two wrestlers reported him to Andy Geiger, who was the Athletic Director at the time. Another individual reported him to Russ Hellickson, the then-head wrestling coach.
A hearing was held in regard to the allegations in 1997, and he was allegedly allowed to “quietly retire” without facing disciplinary action.
OSU has not yet filed a formal response to the complaints, and Geiger and Hellickson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The lawsuit is requesting undisclosed damages and an injunctive order that the university install a program to help protect future student-athletes.
In a previous statement, Strauss’ family said they were “shocked and saddened” by the allegations.
The lawsuit does not directly mention former assistant wrestling coach Rep. Jim Jordan, who was accused of ignoring the abuse.