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Plaintiffs file appeal in Strauss sexual abuse case, allege judge failed to disclose ties to OSU

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Posted at 4:03 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 16:38:12-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — More than three dozen alleged sexual abuse victims of The Ohio State University doctor Richard Strauss filed an appeal in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Monday, stating the judge in their case should have recused himself over his personal ties to OSU.

The plaintiffs are requesting a lower court be ordered to hear their claims. U.S. District Judge Michael Watson dismissed their case last September stating their claims were filed beyond Ohio's statute of limitations for sexual abuse.

In the brief, the plaintiffs' attorney alleges:

“Judge Watson failed to disclose to the Plaintiffs his full involvements with OSU, which included: being a paid law professor, being personal friends with the OSU Board of Trustees chairman, donating money to OSU, raising money for OSU, vacationing with OSU officials even while this case was pending before him, his spouse’s business having a licensing deal with OSU to sell OSU merchandise, and his spouse’s business receiving direct orders from OSU resulting in income for his spouse.”

RELATED: Betrayed: How Ohio failed hundreds of male athletes abused by OSU Dr. Richard Strauss

Watch the News 5 Investigation from 2021 below:

Betrayed: How Ohio failed hundreds of male athletes abused by OSU's Dr. Richard Strauss

News 5 reached out to Judge Watson Tuesday. We have yet to receive a response.

News 5 also reached to OSU. In an email, OSU Communications Director Ben Johnson stated:

"Beginning in 2018, Ohio State sought to uncover and acknowledge the truth about Richard Strauss’ abuse and the university’s failure at the time to prevent it. We offer our deepest regrets and apologies to all who experienced Strauss’ abuse. Ohio State has reached settlement agreements with 289 survivors, more than half of the plaintiffs, for $59.79 million.

"Strauss was a university employed physician from 1978 to 1998. He died in 2005. Ohio State is a fundamentally different university today and over the past 20 years has committed substantial resources to prevent and address sexual misconduct. These actions include new policies and programs, mandatory training, centralized reporting, additional staffing, and resources throughout the university, including in athletics and the medical center. They are summarized here."

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