The brother of the Ohio State University wrestler who blew the whistle on sexual abuse by the team doctor said that Republican Congressman Jim Jordan personally called him crying and begging for support amid allegations that he was one of those turning a blind eye to the abuse.
Adam DiSabato, a champion wrestler at Ohio State, testified before the Ohio House Civil Justice Committee on Tuesday and claimed that Jordan, who was an assistant wrestling coach between 1986 and 1994, pleaded for his support after the report first emerged. It was Adam’s brother, Mike DiSabato, who first blew the whistle on the sexual abuse male wrestlers suffered at the hands of team doctor Richard Strauss. As NBC News reported, Adam DiSabato claimed that Jordan called on him on July 4, 2018, the day that news broke that the Republican congressman knew about the abuse and turned a blind eye.
“Jim Jordan called me crying, crying, groveling, on the Fourth of July…begging me to go against my brother, begging me, crying for half an hour,” Adam DiSabato told lawmakers.
“That’s the kind of cover-ups that’s going on here.”
DiSabato added that he needed to ask his lawyer to intercede, telling Jordan to stop calling him.
DiSabato was speaking to lawmakers at a hearing for a bill that would allow Ohio State victims to sue the university. An investigation from the university found that Strauss abused at least 177 young men over nearly two decades. He was never charged with any crimes, and died by suicide in 2005, NBC News noted.
Other former Ohio State wrestlers have backed Jordan. George Pardos, who admitted he did not have the best relationship with Jordan while he was on the team, told WTTE that he could not believe Jordan would have kept it quiet if he knew about the abuse.
“For Jimmy to have known and not done anything about it, I find that out of character,” he said in the 2018 interview.
“I don’t see him knowing and not doing anything about it. That just would be out of character. If it was to the rise of abuse, then I think he would of had to go to law enforcement.”
Jordan has gained controversy for his strong defense of President Donald Trump amid House investigations and the impeachment proceedings, as he became one of the most vocal backers who at times aggressively attacked Democrats leading the inquiry.
A spokesperson for Jordan denied the claims made by DiSabato at the hearing this week, calling it a “lie.”