Cincinnati sexual assault attorney reviewing OSU sexual abuse lawsuits and abuse settlements for victims and plaintiffs
A growing list of victims are filing OSU sexual abuse lawsuits, targeting the Ohio State University over alleged sexual misconduct by a school doctor. Attorneys and school officials say more 300 accusers may have credible sexual abuse claims against the doctor, Richard Strauss.
The news of the OSU sexual abuse scandal has school public relations officials and the university legal team scrambling to make sense of the news. Plaintiffs can seek compensation, and legal experts estimate the settlements could reach similar values to the Michigan State University sexual abuse lawsuits filed on behalf of abuse victims related to Larry Nassar. MSU victims and plaintiffs reached a $425 million settlement.
Of the 300 or more men involved in the OSU sexual abuse allegations, over a hundred have already contacted attorneys to represent their interests. Plaintiffs say Ohio State school officials were aware of complaints about Richard Strauss, but did nothing to stop his actions or remove him from student and athlete affairs.
Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati sexual assault attorney reviewing OSU sexual abuse settlements and lawsuits on behalf of victims and plaintiffs.
Attorneys are now in contact with hundreds of athletes who claim they were sexually abused and harassed by Strauss. Investigations and a formal university report were shocking in the scale and time span of the abuse. Many of the victims have publicly given reports of their experiences, most of which sound similar to athlete abuse cases in other states and schools.
Plaintiffs say the school was contacted several times about abuse and OSU did not take the proper measures. Sexual abuse lawsuits filed against Ohio State are leaning toward a potential settlement in the coming months. OSU has acknowledged at least partial fault in allowing the doctor to remain on campus and in a position of authority for so long. The State Medical Board never disciplined the doctor.
In an unrelated though similar case, a former Ohio State diving coach accused of having sex with a teenage diver was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual battery.
Because there are Ohio laws that prevent victims from filing lawsuits after a certain period of time has passed after a crime, not every victim can seek the justice they deserve. However, there has been talk among Ohio lawmakers that may change the legal options available for sexual abuse victims.
Currently, the Ohio statute of limitations for rape is 20-25 years, though depends on the circumstances. The prosecuting time limit for other felony sex crimes can be as little as six years in Ohio. Charges for misdemeanor sex crimes like groping and fondling must be filed within two years.
A 182-page report details how the team doctor, Richard Strauss, groped students, asked intimate sexual questions and performed sex acts while providing medical treatment on school grounds. There are eerily similar parallels between the OSU sexual abuse case and other sexual abuse scandals by doctors at other universities like Michigan State University and the University of Southern California.
There are some early practical procedures to follow if you consider filing a sexual harassment claim at the workplace. Some actions may improve your work situation, and others will help build your case in a settlement in or out of the court system. Some intelligent steps to take include the following:
1. Directly Address the Issue with the Offender—This may not only stop the harassment, but also warn the offender of forthcoming consequences. Should the offender continue the same unwanted behavior, this will bolster a case to say the offender was fairly warned. This is important because in a harassment case, a complaining employee must prove that the behavior was unwelcome. Placing the wrongdoer on notice will help you prove some important facts if a lawsuit is filed.
2. File a Formal Complaint with the Company—Ask your Human Resources department how to file a harassment complaint and carefully follow those procedures. Remember to retain a copy of the complaint for your own use. By filing a complaint, you give the company an opportunity to resolve the problem. In harassment cases, you can only hold the company liable if the management had knowledge of the problem, and had an opportunity to remedy the situation.
3. File an Official EEOC Charge—Under federal law, you must file an administrative charge with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a similar state agency for a lawsuit to legally proceed. It is prudent to seek out an experienced attorney at this point. An attorney well-versed in sexual harassment cases will review your case, and make certain that all documents are filed correctly and on time. Many harassment cases hinge on whether the charges are made promptly.
Coaches and school administrators have been criticized for either looking the other way or not protecting children against bullies or hazing rituals that results in athlete sexual abuse or injury.
An estimated 1.5 million high school students are hazed each year, according to a recent study published by the University of Maine, and about 40 percent of athletes who reported the hazing said a coach or advisor was aware of it. Twenty percent even said a coach was involved in the hazing.
If you have been sexually assaulted at Ohio State or another university and have questions about the available legal remedies to provide for a better quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding OSU sexual abuse settlements.