A top Republican Tea Party Congressman’s role in covering up a massive sexual abuse scandal just got exposed in a bombshell report by NBC News.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) served as a wrestling coach at Ohio State University for eight years and turned a blind eye to the team doctor’s blatant sexual molestation of teenage boys at the school, which he definitely knew about.
Jordan literally looked the other way while a sexually deviant doctor eventually expanded his molestation practice to fourteen different sports and thousands of male student-athletes.
Dr. Richard Strauss was OSU’s team doctor from the mid 70’s through the late 90’s and committed suicide seven years after retiring, but Jim Jordan’s locker was literally next to the doctor’s, yet, he kept the physicians dark secret.
The university began investigating the allegations in April and OSU hired law firm Perkins Coie who has interviewed over 150 students and witnesses of sexual abuse already. NBC reports:
“I remember I had a thumb injury and went into Strauss’ office and he started pulling down my wrestling shorts,” said Dunyasha Yetts, who wrestled at Ohio State in 1993 and 1994, …who told Jordan about Strauss. “I’m like, what the f— 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. “So it’s sad for me to hear that he’s denying knowing about Strauss.”
“I don’t know why he would, unless it’s a cover-up. Either you’re in on it, or you’re a liar.”
Molested former OSU students just came forward seeking justice recently in the wake of the conviction of former Michigan State University Doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 175 years in jail for molesting a generation of Team USA gymnasts.
Rep. Jim Jordan is most famous for his rabidly partisan outburst last week in a very public extortion attempt to force the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein into curbing Special Counsel Mueller’s probe into Trump and Russia.
Former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner says that Rep. Jordan a “legislative terrorist” and an “asshole.”
But his predecessor as a Republican Speaker, Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was also a wrestling coach. Disgraced former Speaker Hastert was the longest-serving GOP speaker of the House during the Bush-era.
Two years ago, Hastert was sentenced to federal prison after he was convicted of violating the Patriot Act by secretly funneling hush money payments to a male victim, whom he molested while working as a wrestling coach, before getting elected to Congress. Now, he’s a registered sex offender living on parole in Chicago after leaving a halfway house last year.
But the new allegations surrounding Jim Jordan are eerily similar to the proven allegations that ended legendary football coach Joe Paterno’s career at Penn State University. The Republican lawmaker’s former teammates told NBC that:
A former teammate of DiSabato’s who asked not to be identified said he never told Jordan directly that Strauss had abused him. But there is no way Jordan could have avoided the rumors “because it was all over the locker room.”
“I love Jimmy to death,” the ex-wrestler said. “It was a head-scratcher to me why he would say he didn’t know anything. Doc used to take showers with the team even though he didn’t do any workouts, and everybody used to snicker about how you go into his office for a sore shoulder and he tells you to take your pants down.”
One of Jordan’s friends on the team, Mike DiSabato started the investigation into Ohio State’s culture of molestation by making a video of Jordan’s former boss, the head coach, himself an Olympic silver medal-winning wrestler.
Jordan was friends with DiSabato while he attended college.
But DiSabato was adamant that Jordan placed his political career over the truth when he reached out to the Republican Congressman.
Former head coach Russ Hellickson, Jordan’s mentor, said in a recent video — made by Mike DiSabato, a former wrestler — that Hellickson had told Strauss that he was being too “hands on” with students.
DiSabato, whose allegations against Strauss prompted Ohio State to open its investigation, called Jordan a “liar.”
“I considered Jim Jordan a friend,” DiSabato said. “But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”
DiSabato said he reached out to Jordan this year, before going to the university, to tell Jordan that he planned to go public with his allegations. Jordan told him to “please leave me out of it,” DiSabato said. “He asked me not to get him involved.”
But Mike DiSabato didn’t leave Jordan “out of it” because he had the resources as the head of a Columbus-based sports marketing company Profectus Group, to hire the kind of high priced lawyers necessary to assemble the evidence and get the university to act.
The Tea Party politician spent eight years right in the center of the abuser’s web, without telling the university, authorities, parents or anyone else.
As a result, Dr. Strauss’ sexual assaults weren’t just a wrestling issue, but a problem affecting over a dozen sports according to DiSabato’s attornies:
“Strauss sexually assaulted male athletes in at least fifteen varsity sports during his employment at OSU from 1978 through 1998,” DiSabato wrote in a June 26 email to Kathleen M. Trafford of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, the Columbus-based law firm that represents Ohio State. “Athlete victims include members of the following programs: football, basketball, wrestling, swimming, cheerleading, volleyball, lacrosse, gymnastics, ice hockey, soccer, baseball, tennis, track and cross country.”
Chillingly, DiSabato added: “Based on testimony from victim athletes from each of the aforementioned varsity sports, we estimate that Strauss sexually assaulted and/or raped a minimum of 1,500/2,000 athletes at OSU from 1978 through 1998.”
OSU’s athletes had good reason to keep quiet about the abuse.
Many were small-town residents on scholarship and the Doctor could easily pull strings to get their athletic scholarships revoked if they created a “he said-he said” situation with an authority figure.
But today, the former Ohio State University athletes are determined to force the school to investigate how and why Dr. Strauss’ systematic molestation went unchecked for two decades.
Rep. Jim Jordan’s complicit silence at Ohio State in the face of monstrous wrongdoing is disgusting, wrong and deeply unethical, but it provided the kind of real-life experience enabling a monstrous sociopath which Republicans hold as their highest core value.
Now, the lawyers at Perkins Coie – whose ongoing investigation is providing their findings to the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for any potential criminal proceedings – are tasked by OSU with getting to the bottom of the situation, which all starts with the wrestling coaches who knew about Dr. Strauss’ abuse, and Rep. Jim Jordan will be at the top of their list.
If their investigation confirms DiSatabo and the many former students’ allegations, then former OSU wrestling coaches Hellickson and Jim Jordan both deserve the same treatment accorded to former PSU Coach Paterno, who was hounded out of his profession into retirement for silence in the face of monstrosity.