Six former Ohio State University wrestlers have spoken out to accuse Rep Jim Jordan of being completely aware of the sexual abuse by a team doctor when Jordan was an assistant coach at the school.
The six former athletes spoke with CNN and stated that Jordan either heard or responded to sexual misconduct complaints about then university doctor Richard Strauss. Eight other wrestlers shared that the doctor’s conduct was an “open secret” in the athletic department so there is no way that Jordan did not know.
Jordan continues to deny that he had any knowledge about the sexual abuse of athletes while he worked at the university from 1987 to 1995.
Strauss was accused of committing at least 1,429 sexual assaults and 47 rapes during his 20 years at the university. Strauss was never charged. He committed suicide in 2005.
Tito Vazquez, a former wrestler at the university recently told CNN that “when these complaints come and he [Jordan] pretends now that he had no knowledge of it, that’s betrayal in the highest level.”
Vasquez added that it was Jordan’s repeated denials that convinced him that he had to come forward. He adds that when he spoke to Jordan about what was happening Jordan told him “I have nothing to do with this.”
Last month, former wrestler Adam DiSabato warned that things would “get worse” for Jordan as others would come forward to accuse him of doing nothing once he was made aware of the abuse.
DiSabato added that Jordan called him repeatedly to plead with him to contradict his brother’s account that he told Jordan about the abuse in 2018. He testified before the Ohio House Civil Justice Committee in February that Jordan was not only aware of allegations of sexual abuse but he begged others to cover for him.
DiSabato added that Jordan had called him “crying, groveling … begging me to go against my brother,” adding: “He’s a coward.”
Jordan spoke with CNN and once again denied any knowledge of the abuse.
“The idea that I wouldn’t stand up for these athletes is ridiculous. I feel sorry for these guys, the fact that they aren’t telling the truth.”
Several lawsuits have been filed against the university for ignoring their allegations of sexual abuse. One of the suits alleges that Strauss drugged and raped athletes. Another lawsuit alleges that Strauss targeted underage boys who came to the university for athletic events.
On Friday, OSU announced that it had reached a monetary settlement with sex abuse survivors in 11 of the 18 pending cases.