COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A former Ohio State student health director is facing potential discipline from the state medical board for knowing but failing to report at least three sexual misconduct complaints in the mid-1990s about Richard Strauss, the late team doctor now accused of abusing young men at the university for two decades.
The citation makes former director Ted Grace the first individual to face such action in the wake of allegations that Ohio State officials turned a blind eye to Strauss’ behavior for years.
Grace can request a hearing before the board decides whether to take action against his license. He didn’t immediately respond to an email Thursday seeking comment on the matter.
Grace now leads student health services at Southern Illinois University. As of Thursday, officials there hadn’t fully reviewed the board’s notification and “cannot speak to personnel issues,” spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith said in an email. She has previously said SIU officials had no concerns about Grace’s performance there.
Grace also was cited for falsely telling an Ohio State student that there hadn’t been complaints about Strauss before that student reported being mistreated by the physician at the student health center in 1995. Former student Steve Snyder-Hill filed a complaint about that with the Ohio board this year, alleging that Grace had lied to him and mishandled the situation by having him meet with the doctor at the time.
Snyder-Hill said he and his husband were brought to tears Wednesday when the medical board voted to cite Grace.
“It’s probably one of the best feelings that you’re being validated and somebody is listening to you,” Snyder-Hill said.
In sworn testimony about students’ complaints about Strauss, Grace has said that he gave the doctor a verbal warning back then and that the health center started using a consent form with the option of a chaperone specifically for men being treated by Strauss. The following year, Grace stopped Strauss from seeing patients at the center after a third complaint.
Strauss retired in 1998 and died in 2005. No one has publicly defended him since former athletes and other alumni began sharing their allegations two years ago.
More than 350 men alleging misconduct by Strauss have sued Ohio State. Many say they were fondled in exams on campus, at his off-campus clinic or at his home. They contend concerns about Strauss were raised with university employees as far back as the late 1970s.
Ohio State officials have acknowledged the school’s failure to stop Strauss, publicly apologized to anyone harmed by him, and agreed to pay about $41 million to settle claims by 162 of the men. Others’ lawsuits are still pending, including Snyder-Hill’s.
Follow Franko on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kantele10. See AP’s coverage about the allegations here: https://apnews.com/OhioStateTeamDoctor.