Forty-one men have filed suit in federal court against Ohio State University after a report from a law firm investigation concluded university employees were aware of concerns about sexual predator and team doctor Richard Strauss as early as 1979 but didn’t stop him from sexually abusing patients at the school.
At least 400 claims have previously been made alleging similar conduct by the doctor and the failures of the university to stop this predator and protect its students. Until results of the law firm’s investigation made national headlines in 2019, many of the men in the newly filed federal cases thought their experiences were isolated, didn’t recognize those as sexual assault, or didn’t know that school officials had been aware of concerns during the doctor’s tenure.
“‘With this suit, plaintiffs seek to hold OSU accountable for its failures, and to ensure that something like this can never happen again,’ lawyers wrote in one of the new cases.” Never. Again. Believe victims the first time and stop automatically taking the word of a narcissistic predator. Or it’ll cost ya.
A court ruled against an ex-priest who filed a defamation action against the Roman Catholic Diocese, finding that a diocese spokeswoman was expressing an opinion rather than defaming him by stating in an NPR interview that she visited the home of an alleged sexual assault victim and told him she believed his claims of misconduct by this priest against him.
Three police agencies declined to prosecute the priest, citing the expiration of the statute of limitations and evidentiary problems. The statute of limitations in sex crime cases, especially sex crimes committed against children, needs to be abolished in every state in the country. The defamation threat/lawsuit needs to be recognized as part of the trick bag of many predatory individuals and people who have the money/power to seek revenge against anyone who legitimately threatens their carefully crafted persona or exposes their evil underbelly.
The failure of the defamation claim on the grounds of an expression of opinion was the most logical in this case. There is also the little matter of truth. If the statement at issue is substantially true, a defamation claim cannot succeed because you have a right to publish truthful information even if it injures another’s reputation. Defaming a priest by saying you believe an “alleged” victim’s accusations? Please. For once I’m glad a diocese prevailed.