GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Fox 17 morning news anchor Mike Avery says he was among the hundreds of Ohio State University athletes sexually assaulted by a sports doctor.
Avery shared his story publicly in an interview with NBC News, WOOD TV8’s national affiliate. Avery said Dr. Richard Strauss molested him during a physical while he was a lacrosse player at OSU.
“I remember saying to one of my teammates afterward, I think I was just assaulted,” Avery told NBC News.
He did not speak of it again — not until now.
On Thursday, Fox 17 shared this statement from Avery:
“I never talked about this with anyone and carried it with me for more than three decades. I have two teenagers at home who will one day go off to college, and I need them to know it’s important to stand up for yourself when you are wronged. Colleges and universities across the country need to do better so that my kids and yours can go to college in an atmosphere free of this type of predatory behavior. We must do a better job protecting our children. I hope that sharing my story will contribute to making that happen at least in some small way.”
Fox 17 general manager Kim Krause expressed support for Avery on behalf of his co-workers, saying the group “commend(s) him for his willingness to step forward and share his personal story on a subject that can be very difficult to talk openly about.”
OSU said this week that Strauss committed more than 1,400 sexual assaults and 47 rapes in his 20 years at the university, NBC News reports. Strauss killed himself in 2005.
If you’re a survivor of sexual assault, there is help. The YWCA‘s confidential helpline is available 24 hours a day at 616.454.9922.