Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently called on lawmakers to either extend or eliminate the statute of limitations on sex crimes in the state. He also urged legislators to strengthen sexual assault laws applied to people in power positions over their victims.
The Governor’s comments came in the wake of Ohio State University’s report on the sexual abuse of 177 students by Dr. Richard Strauss over his 19-year career on campus, as well as the failure of university administrators to report Strauss’ conduct to police.
The report noted that while investigators received credible, first-hand accounts of abuse from 177 students, Strauss very likely abused others between 1979 and 1998 when he worked as a team doctor and a physician in the student health clinic.
Ohio State is already facing multiple lawsuits stemming from its failure to take action despite repeated complaints about Strauss’ misconduct. With state lawmakers now considering a bill which would lift any statute of limitations – paving the way for all of Strauss’ victims to sue – Ohio State is facing tremendous financial exposure. This is further complicated by an inquiry being conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
Sex Abuse Cases Becoming Commonplace on College Campuses
The Strauss scandal is the latest in a series of sex abuse lawsuits to hit U.S. college campuses. Earlier this decade, Penn State University paid more than $100 million to settle claims by at least 35 people who accused assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse.
The Penn State settlements were dwarfed, though, by Michigan State University’s agreement to pay $500 million to more than 300 women and girls who said they were assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar under the guise of medical treatment. The university is still facing legal complaints from a second wave of plaintiffs.
While the Sandusky and Nassar cases were confined to a single sport, Strauss’ abuse extended to 16 different sports and the student health center.
What to Do If You’ve Encountered Sex Abuse
Have you ever been a victim of sex assault and abuse? Whether on a college campus, in the workplace, or somewhere else, sex abuse of any kind is always wrong. If you or a loved one has been a victim, talk to the attorneys at The Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. You owe it to yourself – and to everyone who has been victimized. Consultations are free and you pay nothing unless we win. Call them today at 800-730-7111 to determine whether you have a case.