The State Medical Board has set a January 6, 2021 hearing to examine the conduct of a doctor who led Ohio State University’s Student Health Services during the tenure of Richard Strauss, who has been accused of sexual abuse by hundreds of former students.
Dr. Ted Grace was head of Ohio State's student health services from 1992-2007. He currently serves as director of student health services at Southern Illinois University.
The Ohio Medical Board says Grace admitted in a March deposition that he became aware of three separate complaints against Strauss by male students in the mid-1990s.
One student alleged Strauss performed "inappropriately long and invasive" exams of their genital areas, while a second said Strauss "inappropriately and/or excessively examines his testicles and anus and that the student had felt Dr. Straus press his erect penis against the students' leg during the examination."
Despite warning Strauss verbally, Grace did not report the complaints to superiors or the Medical Board.
A document setting the hearing date accuses Grace potentially of violating state medical board rules and abetting the alleged illegal actions by Strauss. Grace could face a civil penalty of up to $20,000 and the suspension or revocation of his medical license.
The medical board says Grace falsely stated to Strauss' accusers at the time that he was unaware of any other abuse allegations.
"I want to assure you that we had never received a complaint about Dr. Strauss before, although we have had several positive comments," Grace wrote in a letter to the second student.
This June, an unsealed complaint alleged that Grace intentionally hid allegations of Strauss' misconduct from his performance review. “For legal reasons, we would never mention a serious allegation against a physician on their evaluation form, which was a permanent part of their personnel record,” Grace wrote in a 1996 memo to a university lawyer.
When Strauss launched his own medical board complaint against the Student Health Services director in 1996, Grace told board investigators that "three, four, five, six, whatever" athletes had complained about Strauss.
That same year, Strauss was dropped from his position at Student Health Services after a disciplinary review, but the hearing was not documented, a break from standard procedure. Grace admitted he failed to alert the State Medical Board that Strauss' privileges at Student Health Services had been revoked.
In 2019, an independent investigation found that Strauss "sexually abused at least 177 male student-patients he was charged with treating as a University physician," although lawyers for survivors contend that the real number is double that. Strauss worked at Ohio State from 1978 until his voluntary retirement in 1998. He died by suicide in 2005.
In March, Ohio State officials announced a $40.9 million settlement with 162 Strauss accusers. About half of the men who alleged abuse are still pursuing a class-action lawsuit against the university.