Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has forcefully denied that he knew of sexual abuse allegations against Richard Strauss in the past. This is likely to change. A new lawsuit asserts that Jordan knew of more instances of Ohio State University doctor Richard Strauss’ sexual abuse than previously known, and ignored them all, attributing the allegations to the fact that Strauss abusing male students was an open secret. In reality, those comments and inaction amount to conspiracy and aiding and abetting sexual battery and assault.
Jordan is named explicitly in the new lawsuit, one of only three former school officials named, including Strauss. The action focuses on all the coaches, administrators and others in positions of responsibility at OSU at the times Strauss worked at the university. The lawsuit claims that those individuals stood by while students and student-athletes were repeatedly “sexually abused, harassed, and molested,” and “forced” to seek treatment from a well-known predator even after they complained.
Jordan managed to restrain the fallout from an eerily comparable discovery last November. One of his longtime Washington aides and protégées, Ohio state Rep. Wesley Goodman, was openly unmasked as one of the Ohio capitol city’s most infamous sexual predators. Goodman was hunting and molesting at least 30 young conservative men he pledged to “mentor.” Jordan adamantly maintained that he had no awareness of Goodman’s infamous reputation – just as he’s now maintaining, against the word of his ex-wrestlers, that he had no hint that Strauss (who committed suicide in 2005) was groping the athletes.
A professional referee states in a lawsuit filed Thursday that discredited doctor Richard Strauss masturbated in the presence of him in a shower after a wrestling match at Ohio State University. Afterward, he summarized the inappropriate contact directly to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who was formerly the assistant wrestling coach.
“Yeah, that’s Strauss,” Jordan and then-head coach Russ Hellickson responded, per the lawsuit, when the referee, specified in court papers as John Doe 42, apprised them about the incident. The lawsuit, listed in federal court in Ohio, indicates that Jordan’s response to the event, which the referee said happened in 1994, was mainly a shrug expression.
John Doe 42 is the second person to respond he told Jordan immediately about either being threatened or molested by Strauss, who was found by independent investigators to have sexually abused 177 male students spanning two decades at Ohio State University.
Forty-three survivors against Ohio State filed the lawsuit, maintaining the university’s “ingrained culture of institutional indifference” enabled Strauss to sexually abuse former students and athletes from a half-dozen other sports.
Before this lawsuit, there were at least eight ex-OSU wrestlers who had stepped forward, claiming that then-Assistant Coach Jordan was undeviatingly made aware of the allegations that medical doctor Richard Strauss was sexually abusing wrestlers, and disregarded their reports of abuse. Here’s the charge from the eighth wrestler:
The ex-wrestler, who chose to publish his allegation anonymously, stated that he had privately told Jordan, “Strauss held my balls longer than normal,” and that Jordan “just snickered.” He further recollected describing to Jordan “something to the effect of ‘his hands are cold as s**t; he checked out every hair on my ball,’” and the assistant coach replying, “I have nothing to do with this,” and then walking away.
Undermining those claims, Talking Points Memo reported that the head coach Jordan worked with was also directly made aware of the accusations.
Like they’ve answered with most of the claimed abusers in their political party, including the president, Republicans have ensured their support behind Rep. Jim Jordan. As the discovery of this new lawsuit spread around Capitol Hill, House Republicans reported that they are assigning Jim Jordan to the House Intelligence Committee, which has been operating the impeachment inquiry. This movement is likely to distract news media from reporting on the OSU sex crimes scandal; he’s linked to the scandal forever.
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