Ohio congressman and former Ohio State assistant wrestling coach Jim Jordan has been accused of participating in the cover-up of widespread sexual abuse in OSU’s wrestling program.
Jordan was accused by Adam DiSabato, who was the team captain in the late 1980s and early 1990s. DiSabato was appearing in front of a hearing in the Ohio legislature as a witness for House Bill 249, which would waive the statute of limitations and allow the OSU athletes who had been abused to sue the university.
DiSabato told the House Civil Justice Committee that several team officials, including Jordan, were aware that the team’s open shower facilities put them at risk of being abused and harassed by a team doctor, but did nothing about it. Then DiSabato detailed a phone conversation between him and Jordan, in which Jordan asks DiSabato to help him cover up wrongdoing.
[DiSabato] also said Jordan called him repeatedly in July 2018, after media outlets quoted his brother, Michael DiSabato, saying Strauss’ abuse was common knowledge to those surrounding the wrestling program, including Jordan.
“Jim Jordan called me crying, groveling… begging me to go against my brother…That’s the kind of cover-up that’s going on there,” he said.
“Are you guys going to do what you’re voted to do?” he told lawmakers later. “That’s the only reason I’m here.”
Jordan’s name has already come up in this scandal numerous times. When the news broke in April 2018 that Dr. Richard Strauss had been accused of sexually abusing over 150 OSU wrestlers between 1978 and 1998, Jordan denied knowing anything about it, despite being an assistant wrestling coach from 1987 to 1995.
Jordan continued to deny having any knowledge of student sexual abuse even after independent investigators released a report in May 2019 that concluded that Strauss, who had been employed by OSU’s athletics department and student health center until he was suspended in 1996, abused at least 177 male student athletes and patients. Strauss died by suicide in 2005.
A spokesman for Jordan called DiSabato’s accusations “a total lie.”
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