Chicago born and trained doctor created "cesspool of deviancy" at Ohio State University

A new investigation of a Chicago-born and trained medical doctor has put him in a league with the world's most prolific perverts.

Dr. Richard Strauss, an unassuming and little-known sports physician at Ohio State University, sexually abused 177 male students during a span of almost two decades, according to the new investigation.

On Friday, a report prepared by a former Chicago federal prosecutor stated that university officials knew what was going on with Strauss and did little to stop him.

Strauss, 67, committed suicide in 2005 in Venice Beach, California, long after retiring from OSU in Columbus, Ohio.

The Chicago native received his medical degree at University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine in 1964. He worked in a U of C clinic a year out of med school, but most of his career was spent at Ohio State.

Findings reported Friday in the new OSU-backed investigation are that Strauss groped, ogled and sexually assaulted young men on campus from 1979 to 1997. That period was essentially his entire career at Ohio State during which he mainly treated athletes.

RELATED: Report says Ohio State doc abused 177 students, officials were aware

The accusations of abuse involved athletes from at least 16 sports including wrestling, hockey and swimming, and included Strauss' work at the student health center and an off-campus clinic that he founded late in his tenure, according to the report.

"As early as 1979, personnel in the University's Sports Medicine program and Athletics Department were aware that Strauss was conducting genital examinations on male athletes that were unusually prolonged," the report states. "Despite the persistence, seriousness, and regularity of such complaints, no meaningful action was taken by the University until January 1996."

The investigation was led by T. Markus Funk, best known for prosecuting top Chicago hoodlums in the Operation Family Secrets mob murder case. Funk's report on Strauss and the Ohio State abuse and misconduct covers 232 pages and offers a graphic glimpse of a rogue physician and the lives he wrecked. Some of his victims are currently suing the university and the results of the Funk report could play into the hands of plaintiffs. One lawsuit claims that Strauss had operated in a "cesspool of deviancy."

Oddly, Strauss received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University, the home of the nation's worst ever doctor-molester Larry Nasser.

While working sports medicine at MSU, Nasser was accused of molesting at least 250 women and girls and now serves what adds up to a life sentence. There have been $500-million in settlements with Nasser victims.

As with Nasser, Strauss molested and assaulted many of his victims as they were prone on exam tables or in locker rooms.

Also similar to MSU's Nasser, "The Report of the Independent Investigation" at Ohio State establishes that university officials received complaints about Strauss and didn't do anything.

Among the most damaging findings for the university, officials never notified law enforcement-and allowed Strauss to retire voluntarily in 1998 with emeritus status.

He moved to a beach view apartment in Venice, California which is where he killed himself in August, 2005. So, despite today's disturbing report of personal and professional misconduct, he will never face justice. Victims will never be able to watch Strauss cross-examined and without a suicide note explaining his behavior, the secrets of his perversion have gone with him to the grave.

In a statement, Ohio State's president Friday admitted that the university failed to prevent the abuse back then and says the report has shaken them to their core.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.