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Ohio State, 162 survivors finalize $40.9 million settlement in Richard Strauss sex abuse scandal

An independent party will now oversee the varying payments to the plaintiffs, according to the AP.
Credit: 10TV

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State University has announced details of a $40.9 million settlement reached with 162 survivors in 12 lawsuits related to sexual abuse by a former university-employed physician.

Dr. Richard Strauss worked for the university from 1978 to 1998, and died by suicide in 2005.

An investigation launched by the university found that Strauss abused students during his time and the university administration failed to appropriately respond.

In March, OSU announced a settlement with nearly half of the survivors who brought claims against the university. In Friday's news release, the school said all have now signed on to the terms of the settlement.

"The university of decades ago failed these individuals—our students, alumni and members of the Buckeye community," President Michael V. Drake said in a statement. "Nothing can undo the wrongs of the past, but we must do what we can today to work toward restorative justice. Our focus will always be on the survivors. We know it took great courage for them to come forward, and we are grateful."

According to the university, all of the participating survivors will dismiss their claims against the university. Talks continue with more than 100 remaining accusers, and officials say they will have a "fair resolution."

One of the plaintiffs who signed on to the current agreement was Mike DiSabato, a former Buckeye wrestler who was one of Strauss' first accusers. Both DiSabato and his brother, Adam, have also alleged then-assistant coach and current-U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan knew of Strauss' misconduct and failed to report it, charges the congressman has denied.

"It’s been a long and bitter battle, and I’m looking forward to healing," Mike told the Associated Press. "I’m proud that we stood up."

An independent party will now oversee the varying payments to the plaintiffs, according to the AP. It is not known how much compensation attorneys will receive.

No one has publicly defended Strauss since the stories of his abuse first came to light, including his surviving family.

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