The Latest: Doc said student faked sex misconduct complaint
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on findings that Ohio’s medical board mishandled an old investigation of a doctor accused of widespread sexual abuse (all times local):
Newly released records from a 1996 state medical board investigation show an Ohio State University doctor accused of sexually abusing young men denied he inappropriately touched a student who complained about him.
In a response to the complaint, Richard Strauss said he’d done a “very thorough examination” following high standards. He suggested the student invented the complaint to cover up an embarrassing medical finding.
Strauss also said he had treated thousands of men for problems such as genital issues and sexually transmitted diseases, and none complained.
A working group reviewing the investigation found there was credible evidence against Strauss but he was never disciplined.
He’s now accused of sexual misconduct against hundreds of young men between 1979 and 1997.
Strauss died in 2005. No one has publicly defended him.
The president of Ohio’s medical board in 1996 when it investigated an Ohio State University team doctor accused of sexual misconduct says he’s not aware of that or any other case of that nature being swept under the rug.
A working group reviewing the investigation found the investigators had credible evidence Richard Strauss had been sexually abusing male students for years.
The group couldn’t determine why no action was taken against the now-deceased doctor but found no evidence the case was intentionally buried.
Former board President Charles Stienecker says he wasn’t aware of Strauss until he read allegations in the newspaper after the university announced an investigation last year.
Stienecker says only two board members would have known about the investigation unless it advanced to a hearing. Those members are deceased.
The State Medical Board of Ohio says its handling of sexual misconduct complaints has “substantially advanced” since its 1996 investigation of an Ohio State University team doctor who was accused of abusing male students but never disciplined.
A working group that reviewed the investigation found investigators had credible evidence about now-deceased doctor Richard Strauss but never took action.
The medical board says it’s reviewing the findings and recommendations, which were released Friday.
The governor is asking the medical board to review about 1,500 closed cases involving sexual assault allegations against doctors over the past 25 years to determine if any others involved evidence of criminal misconduct that was ignored.
Lawyers suing Ohio State over Strauss’ sexual misconduct say they now represent over 300 accusers. The allegations span 1979 to 1997.
Ohio’s governor says the state medical board ignored credible evidence in 1996 that an Ohio State University team doctor had been sexually abusing male students for years and missed a chance to stop him.
Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday a review couldn’t determine why the board never disciplined or told police about now-deceased doctor Richard Strauss.
The board says it’s reviewing the findings.
DeWine is asking the board to review about 1,500 closed cases from the past 25 years to see if any involved evidence of criminal misconduct that was ignored.
Lawyers suing Ohio State over Strauss’ sexual misconduct between 1979 and 1997 say they now represent over 300 accusers .
Strauss retired from the university in 1998 with honorary status. He died in 2005. No one has publicly defended him.