Tag: Dr. Richard Strauss

Movie Sexual Abuse Horowitz Law

Valuable Films on Child Sexual Abuse & Cover-ups

The more we learn about abuse, the better we’ll be able to stop it.

But relax, we’re not going to recommend that you read a book on the subject.  From first-hand knowledge, we know that can be hard. The topic is grim and reading detailed descriptions of what depraved adults do to children spelled out in black and white is almost more anyone can bear.

We at Horowitz Law recommend another way to educate yourself – films.

If you’ve read much of this blog, you know we’re big fans of the movie Spotlight, which stars Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup and Len Cariou (as Boston’s disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law).

In some ways, this award-winning film (Academy Award for Best Picture, 2016) is less about predators and victims and more about the dogged journalists whose investigations brought world-wide attention to crimes and corruption enabled by the Catholic hierarchy.


But Spotlight is far from the only documentary on this crisis. Among them:

Twist of Faith

This documentary focuses on Toledo firefighter Tony Combs who buys his first home for his young family, only to find out that one of his neighbors is Dennis L. Gray, the now-defrocked priest who molested him.



It’s available on Hulu and Pluto TV.


Mea Maxima Culpa

Directed by Alex Gibney, this film details the first known protest against clerical sex abuse in the US by four brave deaf survivors – Terry Kohut, Gary Smith, Pat Kuehn and Arthur Budzinski – and features the voices of actors Jamey Sheridan, Chris Cooper, Ethan Hawke and John Slattery, who provide the vocal translation of the deaf interviewees.

It exposes Fr. Lawrence Murphy, the priest who abused them during the mid-1960s at St. John’s School for the Deaf.in Wisconsin. The movie won three primetime Emmy awards.

Gibney’s works as director include Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (winner of three Emmys in 2015) and Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (once New York’s governor before being brought down by a sex scandal).

Mea Maxima Culpa is available on HBO and Amazon.


—Deliver Us From Evil

In this powerful movie, a repeat offender talks openly of abusing more than 20 kids as he shuffled through northern California (and eventually to Ireland and Portugal).


The film features whistleblower and expert witness Fr. Tom Doyle, psychologist Dr. Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea, Los Angeles deputy district attorney Bill Hodgman, former Governor Frank Keating, LA Cardinal Roger Mahony and one of the world’s most well-known serial predators, Fr. Oliver “Ollie” O’Grady.




It can be viewed for free using the app “Tubi.”


For a broader look at abuse and, believe it or not, a sometimes hilarious look at how a controversial comic dealt with it in Call Me Lucky.


Bobcat Goldthwait’s award-winning documentary “is the inspiring, triumphant and wickedly funny portrait of one of comedy’s most enigmatic and important figures: Barry Crimmins, a beer-swilling, politically outspoken and whip-smart comic.” He long suppressed horrific childhood sexual abuse by a babysitter.


The Boston Globe calls it “an incredible story of transformation from a rage-fueled funnyman into an acclaimed proponent of justice who personified the healing power of comedy.”


Interviews in the film include comedians David Cross, Margaret Cho, Patton Oswalt, Steven Wright, Billy Bragg, and activist Cindy Sheehan.

It’s available on Vudu TV and Amazon.

On this blog, we also recently plugged an expose about child sex crimes at a public high school.


And there are more abuse documentaries in the works.

Just recently, we tweeted about an upcoming film called A Peloton of One, which mentions Allentown Pennsylvania predator priest Fr. James F. Gaffney.


According to its producers, the film follows the journey of survivor Dave Ohlmuller as he cycles alone from Chicago, IL, to Montclair, NJ on his bike “to bring awareness of and to inspire action against” archaic, predatory-friendly statute of limitations laws “that serve to silence the victimized and empower the predators.”


Finally, actor George Clooney is working on a documentary on the Ohio State wrestling abuse scandal. In it, the question of whether US Congressman Jim Jordan helped an abusive trainer, Dr. Richard Strauss, keep hundreds of child sex crimes hidden


We find that in these films, we learn more about abuse and at the same time, see just how resilient and resourceful courageous survivors so often are.

Please spread the word to others who care about protecting the vulnerable and healing the wounded.

The Big Business of College Athletics Makes it Ripe For Sexual Exploitation

These days, college sports are big business. But even years ago, the importance of sporting programs at universities is hard to overstate.

Both now and back then, failing to make a team or win a starting position could spell doom for a student, and hurt a student’s academic standing in the short run and hurting his or her earning potential in the long run, especially a student from a lower or middle income family.  This pressure on student athletes gives coaches and team doctors massive power, power that is tragically sometimes abused with devastating consequences.

Consider Shawn O’Brien, who gave massages to members of women’s basketball, tennis, softball and soccer teams at the University of Kansas at Lawrence. Last month, he was arrested by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and charged with ‘indecent liberties with a child’ after a girl accused him of touching her sexually seven or eight years ago under the guise of a “massage.”   He also reportedly had the audacity to tell the youngster that she shouldn’t tell anyone what happened because he said massages were “really expensive” and she was “lucky” to get one for free.

University Chancellor Doug Girard and Athletic Director Jeff Long said in a statement Thursday that they were “deeply troubled” by initial findings of an internal inquiry into O’Brien. They refused, however, to disclose which teams had contracts with O’Brien.
(Until recently, O’Brien was also listed as the owner of Kamehameha Massage.)

Or consider disgraced University of Michigan Dr. Robert Anderson, who was closely involved in the school’s athletic department for decades, including helping famed athletic director Don Canham cut costs by requiring annual physicals and teaming with legendary football coach Bo Schembechler to set up an important drug testing program.

Anderson’s sexual assaults were so well known among Michigan athletes, accusers have said, that he earned nicknames — “Dr. Drop Your Drawers” and “Dr. Glove.” He reportedly gave unnecessary rectal and testicular exams to students. He also allegedly traded sexual favors for letters to Vietnam-era draft boards establishing men as homosexual and thus make them eligible for a draft deferment.
(Ironically, the university hired a law firm, Steptoe and Johnson, that represented the late abusive financier Jeffrey Epstein and abusive director Roman Polanski.)

At least one student athlete, a former wrestler named Tad Deluca, came forward last month saying that he lost his scholarship and was thrown off the team after reporting that Dr. Anderson had abused him.

Then of course there are other, even more notorious child molesting coaches or trainers, including Jerry Sandusky of Penn State, Dr. Larry Nassar of USA Gymnastics and Dr. Richard Strauss of Ohio State University.

The list goes on and on.

And the result of these awful men and the schools that hired and protected them? Hundreds or thousands of innocent, ambitious, talented and disciplined young people whose promising futures were suddenly and severely shattered by selfish, sick doctors and coaches.
But as the links here show, just like courageous victims in churches and scouting programs have done, courageous college and high school athletes are demanding justice, prevention and the truth. We admire them, wish them well and stand ready to help.