Former Ohio State wrestlers say Rep. Jim Jordan knew about sexual abuse within the program
NBC News reports that former students are skeptical that Jordan didn't know of alleged molestation
Three months after Ohio State University announced it would investigate allegations of sexual misconduct by the late Richard Strauss, the doctor for the school's wrestling team, three former Buckeyes have suggested Rep. Jim Jordan knew about -- but failed to end -- abuse within the program.
Jordan, who has represented Ohio's 4th congressional district since 2007, served as an assistant wrestling coach for Ohio State from 1986 to 1994. And as NBC News' Corky Siemaszko reported Tuesday, a trio of Jordan's former wrestlers have come forward to say "it was common knowledge that Strauss showered regularly with the students and inappropriately touched them during appointments," not to mention that it "would have been impossible for Jordan to be unaware."
Strauss, who died in 2005, was told by former Jordan mentor and Ohio State wrestling head coach Russ Hellickson that he was being "too hands on" with students, per Siemazsko. And the three former wrestlers -- Mike DiSabato, Dunyasha Yetts and one who wished to remain anonymous -- said Jordan either knew of Strauss's misconduct from locker-room gossip or direct reports from wrestlers.
"I considered Jim Jordan a friend," DiSabato said, per NBC News. "But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn't know what was going on."
Yetts called Jordan "a great guy" but, as Siemazsko reported, believes the former coach is "in on it" or outright lying.
"I remember I had a thumb injury and went into Strauss' office and he started pulling down my wrestling shorts," he said. "I'm like, what the (explicit) are you doing? And I went out and told Russ and Jim what happened. I was not having it. They went in and talked to Strauss."
Yetts said he and his teammates talked to Jordan numerous times about Strauss.
"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," Yetts said.
Jordan, meanwhile, has repeatedly denied knowing of any abuse by Strauss while working for Ohio State. A speculated successor to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and, per NBC, a "staunch ally of President Donald Trump," his spokesperson issued the following statement to NBC News regarding the Strauss investigation:
Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State ... He has not been contacted by investigators about the matter but will assist them in any way they ask, because if what is alleged is true, the victims deserve a full investigation and justice.
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