Ex-Ohio State wrestler accusing Rep. Jim Jordan of ignoring sexual abuse is jailed

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Mike DiSabato, right, was arrested for missing a court date tangentially related to decades-old abuse allegations at Ohio State. (AP Photo/Kantele Franko)
Mike DiSabato, right, was arrested for missing a court date tangentially related to decades-old abuse allegations at Ohio State. (AP Photo/Kantele Franko)

Mike DiSabato, a former Ohio State University wrestler, is in jail after missing a court hearing for allegedly harassing a former Buckeyes football star who is also the relative of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the man and former coach DiSabato alleges ignored sexual abuse of athletes at the college.

NBC News reported that DiSabato, 50, was arrested when he failed to show up for the hearing in Columbus, Ohio, and will stay there until a Jan. 16 bond hearing.

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Wrestlers allege Jordan knew of abuse

DiSabato and fellow former Ohio State wrestlers made national headlines July 3 when they alleged that Jordan, who coached the university’s wrestling team from 1986-94, knew about the alleged abuse of athletes by a team doctor. DiSabato also alleges that Jordan witnessed abuse in team showers.

Jordan said publicly he had been unaware of any impropriety by Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005. The doctor was at Ohio State from 1978 to 1998 as the wrestling team physician and an assistant professor of medicine. More than 100 student-athletes from 14 sports have made allegations. 

“I considered Jim Jordan a friend,” DiSabato told NBC News in July. “But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”

Some former wrestlers have defended Jordan, saying it’s hard to believe the coach knew about the acts but wouldn’t say anything.

Accuser charged with harassment

Two days after the wrestlers alleged Jordan’s knowledge of the acts, a former football star filed a complaint in Columbus that DiSabato was harassing him via phone calls.

Matthew Finkes, who filed the complaint, told the Wall Street Journal that Jordan is his second cousin. Finkes was recruited to wrestle, but joined the football team. He co-hosts a local sports radio show and wrote in the complaint that he told DiSabato on July 3 to “cease all communication,” according to NBC News.

DiSabato says Finkes accused him publicly of engaging in a “money grab and political hit job,” according to NBC News.

DiSabato calls it a ‘bureaucratic bungling’

DiSabato was arrested on a warrant Monday when he showed up for court in Columbus. The warrant is for missing a hearing on Friday.

“I’m a wanted man because of bureaucratic bungling,” DiSabato, of Dublin, Ohio, told NBC News on Friday after learning from a local news story that a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The former wrestler told NBC News he did not know he was supposed to be in court Friday, nor did his lawyer know of it. Another hearing is set for Tuesday, per the Washington Times.

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