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Former Ohio State student health director, accused of failing to report sex abuse, surrenders medical license

Ted Grace is first to face disciplinary action in scandal surrounding actions of university doctor Richard Strauss, accused of abusing young men for two decades.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A former Ohio State University student health director has surrendered his medical license after being accused of failing to report several complaints in the mid-1990s about sexual misconduct by Richard Strauss, the university doctor now accused of abusing young men for two decades.

Image: Richard Strauss
Dr. Richard Strauss in his 1978 employment application from Ohio State University's personnel files.Ohio State University via AP file

The state medical board citation against former director Ted Grace made him the first person to face potential discipline in relation to Ohio State’s failure to stop misconduct by Strauss, who died in 2005. A hearing was scheduled for next week, but Grace permanently surrendered his Ohio license under an agreement that was approved and confirmed but not released Wednesday by the medical board.

Grace had most recently led student health services at Southern Illinois University. He notified officials there last month that he was retiring, university spokesperson Kim Rendfeld said in an email. SIU officials have no concerns about Grace’s performance there, Rendfeld said.

A message seeking comment from Grace was left Wednesday at a phone number listed under his name.

Grace was cited for not reporting complaints and for falsely telling an Ohio State student that there hadn’t been previous complaints about Strauss when that student reported being mistreated by the physician at the student health center in 1995.

The former student, Steve Snyder-Hill, filed a complaint about that with the state board last year, alleging Grace had lied to him and mishandled the situation.

Snyder-Hill said in an email that he appreciates the medical board pushing for accountability.

“Finally, a day of vindication!” he wrote.

Grace has previously said that he gave Strauss 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. After a third complaint, Grace stopped Strauss from seeing patients there.

Strauss retired in 1998, and allegations about his misconduct didn’t become public until an ex-wrestler spoke out in 2018, years after Strauss’ death. Ohio State apologized publicly after an investigation conducted for the school concluded Strauss’ misconduct occurred in his work with various athletic teams, the health center and an off-campus clinic.

No one has since defended Strauss publicly.

Roughly 400 men have sued the university over its failure to stop him despite students raising concerns with school employees as early as 1979. Many of the men say they were groped during exams.

The university has pledged a “monetary resolution” for those Strauss harmed. It has reached nearly $47 million in settlements for 185 of the plaintiffs.

More lawsuits, including Snyder-Hill’s, are pending. Some of those accusers have argued they deserve compensation more comparable to other major sexual abuse scandals in higher education, such as Michigan State’s $500 million settlement for the 500-plus female victims of imprisoned sports doctor Larry Nassar or the University of Southern California’s $852 million settlement with over 700 women who accused a campus gynecologist of sexual abuse.