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Ohio medical board criticized for failing to end OSU sexual abuse

Hawaii residents may be aware that the reputations of several prominent universities have been tarnished because they failed to take action to protect their students from known sexual predators. Several senior Penn State University administrators were forced to resign and ultimately faced criminal charges for impeding the investigation into the activities of Jerry Sandusky in 2011, and a similar scandal is now engulfing Ohio State University.

Several former OSU student athletes have stepped forward to accuse Dr. Richard Strauss of sexually assaulting them during bogus medical examinations. An independent commission tasked with looking into the allegations reported in May that at least 177 students had been abused and the university has likely been aware of the doctor's behavior for decades. Strauss, who committed suicide in 2005, worked as a team physician with the OSU Athletics Department between 1978 and 1998.

The State Medical Board of Ohio has also been harshly criticized for not taking action to end the sexual abuse. On Aug. 30, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the board chose not to refer the matter to law enforcement after discovering credible evidence of misconduct during a 1996 investigation into the allegations. This has prompted advocacy groups to demand further scrutiny of approximately 1,500 other cases of alleged sexual misconduct that the board closed during the last 25 years without taking action.

Personal injury attorneys with experience in this area may understand that the victims of sexual abuse often find it extremely difficult to step forward and tell their stories, and this can be especially true when they were molested as children. Attorneys might help victims to prepare to face their abusers and the institutions that protected them in court by calling on psychologists and other experts. They may also explain that holding these parties responsible for their actions could provide at least some degree of closure.

Source: Fox News, Two Top Officials Step Down Amid Penn State Scandal, Associated Press report, Nov. 7, 2011

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