Representative Jim Jordan, a powerful Ohio Republican, is accused of ignoring accusations of sexual misconduct against the team doctor when he served as Ohio State University’s assistant wrestling coach.
As NBC News reports, Jordan served as the assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1986 to 1994. During that time, he allegedly prevented wrestlers from complaining to officials after the team doctor, Dr. Richard Strauss, allegedly molested them. Strauss, who died in 2005, had been the team doctor at Ohio State from the mid 1970’s until the 1990’s.
Beginning in April of this year, Ohio State began investigating decades-old allegations against Strauss, after former students began speaking up about it. One such former wrestler was Mike DiSabato. He said that he first contacted Jordan about the allegations before going public with them; Jordan wasn’t interested in hearing about it, says DiSabato. DiSabato claims that Jordan told him to “please leave me out of it.”
“He asked me not to get him involved.”
Jordan has repeatedly said he knew nothing of the abuse until university officials learned of it this spring. DiSabato, calling Jordan a “liar,” isn’t buying it.
“I considered Jim Jordan a friend. But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”
Did you know that @Jim_Jordan, the Republican Congressman from Ohio, was once a wrestling coach at @OhioState? Former wrestlers now say that he knew about the team doctor molesting them and other students. One said he told Jordan directly about the abuse. https://t.co/JJ3lleiVEi— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) July 3, 2018
Another wrestler, Dunyasha Yetts, said that he told Jordan directly about the abuse.
“I remember I had a thumb injury and went into Strauss’ office and he started pulling down my wrestling shorts. I’m like, ‘what the f**k are you doing?'”
Yetts says he told Jordan, who didn’t go to his superiors right away with the allegation. Instead, Yetts says, Jordan went into Strauss’ office to “talk” to him. Further, Yetts says, Jordan himself had considered the possibility that Strauss might attempt something with him.
“For God’s sake, Strauss’s locker was right next to Jordan’s and Jordan even said he’d kill him if he tried anything with him.”
NBC News notes that Yetts has done time for fraud, an allegation that Yetts doesn’t deny. However, Yetts says that his conviction doesn’t change the fact that Strauss allegedly abused young men, and that Jordan allegedly turned a blind eye.
Jordan, who is considered a staunch ally of Trump, and whose caucus, the House Freedom Caucus, is comprised of the most conservative members of the House, says that he has not yet been contacted by investigators. If that day comes, he says, he will fully cooperate with the investigation.