Wrestling Referee Says He Told GOP Lawmaker About Doctor’s Sexual Misconduct

Ohio State University wrestler during a match

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Ohio, a wrestling referee said deceased doctor Richard Strauss masturbated in front of him while showering after a 1994 match at Ohio State University, and he reported it to then-assistant coach Jim Jordan.

Jordan is now a powerful congressman and has denied knowing anything about the numerous reports of inappropriate sexual behavior by Strauss during his tenure as a physician for the university athletes from 1986 to 1994.

Strauss passed away in 2005.

The lawsuit was filed by 43 individuals who say they were victims of Strauss’ abuse. The filing cites episodes of Strauss “drugging and raping athletes,” including underage boys who took part in athletic events at the university.

The referee, identified as John Doe 42, says both Jordan and then-head coach Russ Hellickson didn’t seem surprised when he told them about the encounter in the showers with the doctor.

“Yeah, that’s Strauss,” Jordan and then-head coach Russ Hellickson told Doe, reports NBC News. “Yeah, yeah, we know.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)

“It was common knowledge what Strauss was doing, so the attitude was it is what it is,” John Doe 42 told NBC News. “I wish Jim, and Russ, too, would stand up and do the right thing and admit they knew what Strauss was doing because everybody knew what he was doing to the wrestlers.” 

“What was a shock to me is that Strauss tried to do that to me,” added the referee. “He was breaking new ground by going after a ref.”

Another of the victims, identified at John Doe 49, said Strauss told him to take off his pants when he went to see the doctor about an ingrown toenail during a wrestling camp. John Doe 49 says he was 14 or 15 years old at the time, and the physician threatened him with a scalpel before sexually abusing him.

Earlier this year in May, a team of investigators hired by Ohio State University found the doctor had sexually abused “at least 177 male student-patients.”

“We find that University personnel had knowledge of Strauss’ sexually abusive treatment of male student-patients as early as 1979, but the complaints about Strauss’ conduct were not elevated beyond the Athletics Department of Student Health until 1996,” read the report according to NBC News.

The referee is the second person to say they approached Jordan about the physician’s behavior.

Dunyasha Yetts, a former wrestler for Ohio State, has previously shared that the doctor attempted to pull down his pants when he saw Strauss about a thumb injury.

Responding to John Doe 42’s testimony, Yetts told NBC News, “It’s good that people are starting to come forward and say the truth, which is that Jordan and the other coaches knew what was going on and they blew it off.”

Several former Ohio State athletes have shared that Strauss’ behavior was basically an ‘open secret’ among athletes but the coaching staff didn’t seem inclined to take action regarding the allegations.

The story became national news in 2018 when former university wrestler Mike DiSabato came forward to not only accuse Strauss but share that the coaches, including Jordan, turned a blind eye to the behavior.

At the time, DiSabato said, “They knew, they all knew, and they did nothing.”

For his part, Jordan says he didn’t know anything about the alleged behavior.

“I never knew about any type of abuse,” Jordan told Politico last year. “If I did, I would have done something about it. And look, if there are people who are abused, then that’s terrible and we want justice to happen.” 

(source: NBC News – lead photo: Mark Lundy/FlickrCC License

Investigation Shows Ohio State Sports Doc Sexually Abused Over 177 Students

A year long investigation has concluded that Dr. Richard H. Strauss, who worked as a team doctor for Ohio State University, sexually abused at least 177 varsity male athletes from at least 16 sports over a nearly twenty year period.
(image via OHU)

A year long investigation has concluded that Dr. Richard H. Strauss, who worked as a team doctor for Ohio State University, sexually abused at least 177 varsity male athletes from at least 16 sports over a nearly twenty year period.

According to a 182-page report issued Friday, Strauss would require the young athletes to strip, would grope them and make inquires of intimate/sexual nature all under the guise of providing medical treatment or examination.

“From roughly 1979 to 1996, male students complained that Strauss routinely performed excessive — and seemingly medically unnecessary — genital exams, regardless of the medical condition the student-patients presented,” read one excerpt from the report via the New York Times.

Over 520 subjects took part in nearly 600 interviews throughout the investigation.

The investigators wrote, “Strauss’ acts of abuse ranged from the overt — such as fondling to the point of erection and ejaculation — to more subtle acts of abuse that were masked with a pretextual medical purpose — for example, requiring a student-patient to strip completely naked to purportedly ‘assess’ an orthopedic condition, or asking probing questions about a student-patient’s sexual practices or performance.”

One of the athletes who spoke to investigators said he once complained of a sore throat to Strauss, which lead to a genital exam.

One former wrestler, Nick Nutter, came forward last year saying the doctor groped him “19 exams out of 20.”

In addition, several former students shared that Strauss was known to shower with students, and hang out in the locker room.

The investigators found that many of the students were under the impression the physician’s behavior was an “open secret” and that coaches, trainers, even other team doctors knew of the sexual improprieties.

Indeed, the report shows that several coaches and players reported incidents involving Strauss over the years, but the complaints never saw Strauss held accountable.

There were so many complaints that an investigation was launched in 1994 by the university’s director of sports medicine, Dr. John Lombardo. He eventually dismissed the allegations calling them “unfounded rumors.”

Lombardo refused to sit for an interview with the investigators.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), now a powerful conservative congressman, was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State from 1987 to 1995. He has maintained he never heard any of the rumors regarding Strauss, even though the investigation by Dr. Lombardo occurred during Jordan’s tenure as an assistant coach.

Jordan told the Washington Post he feels vindicated by the newly-released report saying it found no evidence he knew about the sexual abuses.

Actually, the report doesn’t mention him by name at all.

“I think the report speaks for itself,” said Jordan. “It confirmed everything I have said all along.”

But several former Ohio State wrestlers came forward over the past year insisting the rumors were so widespread Jordan must have heard or knew something about the inappropriate behavior.

In truth, what would a seasoned politician say about such rumors today? Can you imagine Jordan standing up and admitting all these years later, “Yes, I heard about those incidents back in the day, but I chose to do nothing?”

Twenty-two coaches interviewed by investigators said they were aware of rumors or complaints regarding Strauss, reports the Washington Post.

Upon the release of today’s report, Ohio State President Michael Drake issued a statement calling the findings “shocking and painful to comprehend.”

“On behalf of the university, we offer our profound regret and sincere apologies to each person who endured Strauss’s abuse,” Drake continued. “Our institution’s fundamental failure at the time to prevent this abuse was unacceptable — as were the inadequate efforts to thoroughly investigate complaints raised by students and staff members.”

Three groups of victims have filed law suits against the university, and Ohio State is said to be “actively participating in a mediation process.”

While Strauss was still a professor emeritus at the time of his death in 2005, Ohio State told the press today it would begin proceedings to revoke that honor.

Ohio Congressman Denies Turning Blind-Eye To Sex Abuse

Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio

Rep. Jim Jordan, a powerful Republican congressman from Ohio, has been accused of turning a blind-eye to sex abuse during his tenure as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University.

In April, the university began an investigation into allegations that Dr. Richard Strauss, who served as the team doctor, sexually abused team members from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s.

Strauss died in 2005.

Jordan, who served as assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State from 1986 to 1994, has publicly denied any knowledge of the abuse.

But his denials have been called out as lying by former members of the wrestling team.

Three former Ohio State wrestlers have come forward saying it was “common knowledge” that the doctor regularly showered with the athletes and touched them inappropriately during appointments. They say its impossible Jordan would not have known about the abuse. One player says he told Jordan about the abuse himself.

From NBC News:

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.”

Another former wrestler, Dunyasha Yetts, told NBC News he informed Jordan himself about an awkward incident with the doctor in the mid-1990s.

“I remember I had a thumb injury and went into Strauss’ office and he started pulling down my wrestling shorts,” he said. “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.”

According to Yetts, he and his teammates went to Jordan several times about Strauss.

“So it’s sad for me to hear that he’s denying knowing about Strauss,” he said. “I don’t know why he would, unless it’s a cover-up. Either you’re in on it, or you’re a liar.”

“Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State,” a spokesman for Jordan wrote in an email to NBC News.

After the NBC News story was published, Jordan’s rep added: “He has not been contacted by investigators about the matter but will assist them in any way they ask, because if what is alleged is true, the victims deserve a full investigation and justice.”

Another Ohio State wrestler, former UFC world champion Mark Coleman, has come forward telling the Wall Street Journal Jordan was aware of, but didn’t respond to, the allegations of sexual misconduct.

“There’s no way unless he’s got dementia or something that he’s got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State,” Coleman said in an interview Friday.

DiSabato, however, has forwarded to NBC News an email he sent Jordan on April 24 asking Jordan to “give your full attention to the information attached to this email.”

“We [are] watching you, “ wrote DiSabato. “You have the platform to cut through the double talk, placation and finger pointing.”

Jordan never responded.

Based on testimony from athletes in 15 varsity sports over the years, DiSabato estimates Strauss sexually assaulted and/or raped around 1,500/2,000 athletes at OSU from 1978 through 1998.

Jordan is a staunch ally of Donald Trump and is rumored to be a contender for Speaker of the House after Paul Ryan retires early next year.

Regarding the Ohio State scandal, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday, “I believe him 100 percent.”

News Round-Up: November 28, 2016

Some news stories you may have missed:

• Super stats guy Nate Silver snaps Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway back to reality after she claimed the Trumpster won in a “landslide.”

• An Ohio State University student is dead after driving a car into a group of pedestrians and then stabbing several people today. Eleven people were hospitalized as a result of the student’s attack.

• Neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden will be attending the funeral of deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

• A representative for the Texas Electoral College is resigning rather than cast his vote for Donald Trump on December 19.

• A gay man in Colorado was verbally assaulted (“the faggot that voted for Hillary”) in front of his 4 year old son by an employee of Floor and Decor when he tried to return defective floor tiles.

• Donald Trump’s pick for National Security Adviser, KT McFarland outed her gay brother to their parents as he was dying of AIDS.

• Tony Award winner Sutton Foster delivers moving “Unbreakable” on the Netflix revived Gilmore Girls.