The Sexual Assault Attorneys at Grewal Law Discuss the Ohio State Sexual Assault Scandal & Alleged University Cover-Up
A former Ohio State University wrestler named Mike DiSabato, who competed for OSU from 1987 – 1991, told investigators and reporters that he was groped dozens of times by Dr. Strauss. Strauss’s abuse began when DiSabato was just 14 years old. At this time, Dr. Strauss said he was conducting research on the body fat of high school wrestlers. As part of the research, Strauss examined DiSabato’s genitals. DiSabato says he now knows that genital exams are an unnecessary part of body fat tests.
Reporters have obtained a 1978 medical staff employment application that Dr. Strauss completed for Ohio State University. Strauss was hired as part of OSU’s clinical faculty and medical staff in 1978, and was an Ohio State sports team physician from 1981 – 1995. Dr. Strauss was a part-time physician for the student health services unit from July 1994 – August of 1996, and he was a professor emeritus at OSU until he retired in July of 1998.
Officials at Ohio State University said that they have received allegations of sexual misconduct by Dr. Strauss from members (all male) of 14 teams, which include the baseball, cross country, cheerleading, football, fencing, gymnastics, lacrosse, hockey, tennis, soccer, swimming, track, wrestling and volleyball teams. OSU officials also stated that patients of the university’s student health services unit have made allegations against Strauss as well. According to these officials, over 150 former students and witnesses have been interviewed about the sexual abuse allegations so far.
DiSabato told reporters and investigators that numerous Ohio State University employees were aware of Dr. Strauss’s sexual abuse of athletes; these employees include former assistant wrestling coach Jim Jordan, who is now a well-known public servant, former head wrestling coach Russ Hellickson, and university athletic directors. DiSabato also informed investigators and reporters that he was assaulted by Dr. Strauss during a 9 year time period (which includes DiSabato’s time as a graduate student at OSU), and that during that period, there was never a time in which Strauss did not want to examine his testicles. DiSabato alleges that regardless of the reason for seeing Dr. Strauss – whether it was to obtain a prescription or for a finger, shoulder or knee injury – Strauss groped him at every single visit.
“If you wanted your meds, if you wanted to stay healthy … so that you could stay on scholarship, you grinned and beared it, so to speak,” DiSabato said.
It has been alleged that a hearing to investigate Strauss was initiated in 1997. A former OSU varsity athlete who was sexually assaulted by Strauss told reporters that he was approached by his coach to testify in a hearing against Strauss in 1997. This athlete, who told reporters he wishes to remain anonymous, said that at some point after the hearing was supposed to have occurred, Strauss left the university.
OSU officials have suggested they first learned about the allegations against Strauss this Spring, and immediately thereafter began their investigation into Strauss and his alleged sexual abuse of students and athletes. However, according to reports from numerous OSU athletes, Dr. Strauss’s suspicious behavior was well-known. In addition, victims of sexual assault directly told OSU employees – including coaches and athletic directors – that they had been sexually assaulted.
The sexual abuse attorneys at Grewal Law / Church Wyble, P.C. have been fighting for the rights of victims for decades, and they have made it their mission to stop cover-ups and institutional involvement in sexual assault. The lawyers at Grewal Law / Church Wyble, P.C. are currently representing 111 Survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse and assault, and they understand what it takes to prevail against large universities and corporations. Please contact the firm’s experienced lawyers for information regarding sexual assault support groups, or for a free consultation to discuss your rights. All inquiries with our office are kept in the strictest confidence and are completely confidential.
Growing up in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nolan Erickson began working at Church Wyble PC in 2007 as a law clerk. Now as an attorney, Mr. Erickson has developed extensive experience with all phases of trial and pre-trial resolution of personal injury matters, including major auto accident, medical malpractice, and other serious injury cases.