Ohio State Reaches Settlements with Half of Richard Strauss Accusers

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Ohio State University announced that it’s reached a monetary settlement with some of the men who have alleged sexual abuse by longtime doctor Richard Strauss.

Ohio State say those settlements “represent nearly half of the individuals who have brought claims against the university.” The deals arose out of mediation discussions between the university and accusers.

“Strauss’ conduct was reprehensible, and the university’s failures at the time are completely unacceptable,” said President Michael V. Drake in a written statement. “While nothing can undo what happened here years ago, today’s university has a responsibility to support our former students and alumni, and this initial settlement is another important step in the process of restorative justice.”

Last month, Ohio State University’s Board Of Trustees passed a resolution that would allow a swift payment of any settlement reached with Strauss accusers. Chair Gary R. Heminger now has the power to approve those payments by himself, without the board’s sign-off.

Ohio State says that settlement funds will be distributed on an individual basis “based on the harm and damages experienced by each survivor.” An independent and trauma-trained specialist will oversee the process, the university says, but that person has not yet been named.

The university says that no taxpayer, tuition or donor funds will be used for the settlement, which instead will be drawn from the school’s existing discretionary funding.

Ohio State says it continues to participate in mediation with the remaining accusers. Some of the plaintiffs last month asked a judge to allow litigation to resume against the university, claiming that Ohio State “refused to engage in productive settlement talks.”

Strauss worked at the university from 1978-1998. He died in 2005.