Jim Jordan denies ignoring sexual abuse of hundreds of Ohio State athletes

UPDATE — 7/10, 3:32 p.m. EDT: Yet another former Ohio State wrestler has said Congressman Jordan knew of sexual abuse during his tenure as assistant coach for the team which lasted eight years during the late 1980s through the mid 90s.

“Jordan is denying this because obviously it would be political suicide for him,” the eighth accuser told CNN, speaking anonymously. “He’s still denying it. Jim Jordan knew. He didn’t do anything about it.”

Others have come to the conservative Republican’s defense, including two other former wrestlers, as well as a number of former OSU wrestling coaches who issued a joint statement which read, in-part: “What has been said about Jim Jordan is absolutely wrong. . . . None of us saw or heard of abuse of OSU wrestlers.”

An Ohio State University (OSU) investigation looking into allegations a former physician with the school’s wrestling team sexually abused former athletes has entangled Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) this week.

Jordan, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2007 and is a founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, was an assistant coach with the Buckeyes’ wrestling team from 1987 to 1995.

Following an April OSU investigation launched into claims Dr. Richard Strauss allegedly molested or inappropriately touched hundreds athletes, former members of the OSU wrestling team have come forward to accuse Jordan of ignoring the abuse while Jordan was an assistant coach.

Strauss was a physician with the OSU Department of Athletics from 1978 to 1998. He committed suicide in 2005.

One former OSU wrestler, Shawn Dailey, now 43 years old, even says Jordan had talked to him directly about Strauss’ behavior.

“I participated with Jimmy [Jordan] and the other wrestlers in locker-room talk about Strauss. We all did,” Dailey said. “It was very common knowledge in the locker room that if you went to Dr. Strauss for anything, you would have to pull your pants down.”

Jordan has emphatically denied knowing of the alleged abuse; he maintains he first heard of the allegations after another former wrestler, Mike DiSabato, made the abuse claim in early 2018.

In sum, five former members of the OSU wrestling team have accused Strauss and contend Jordan was aware of the abuse.

DiSabato has gone as far to declare Jordan a “liar,” and said Jordan “knew what was going on.”

In a second account offered by a another claimant, Dunyasha Yetts asserts following an injury he reported inappropriate touching by Strauss to OSU’s then-head coach Russ Hellickson and Jordan, who Yetts says was present when he reported the incident.

After two days of denying any knowledge of the matter, Jordan now says he is being harassed over the volume of emails he has received from one alleged victim.

Despite the claims, Jordan has defenders: Both Russ Hellickson and former wrestler Lee Kemp have declared their support for the embattled GOP congressman.

President Trump weighed in on the matter Thursday, expressing unconditional support for Jordan, saying he believes him 100%. He’s an outstanding man.”

[NBC News] [The Columbus Dispatch] [Politico] [Roll Call] [Photo courtesy Alex Wong/Getty Images via ESPN]