Referee Claims Rep. Jim Jordan Did Nothing After He Reported Ohio State Doctor’s Sexual Misconduct
In a lawsuit filed Thursday, a professional referee alleges that former assistant coach Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) did nothing when he reported that former Ohio State University doctor Richard Strauss masturbated in front of him after a wrestling match.
“Yeah, that’s Strauss,” Jordan and then-head coach Russ Hellickson replied, according to the lawsuit, when the referee, identified in court papers as John Doe 42, told them about the incident which occurred in 1994.
John Doe 42 is the second person to claim he told Jordan about Strauss’s sexual misconduct.
Former Ohio State wrestler Dunyasha Yetts was the first person to allege that Jordan had done nothing when he complained about Strauss say he spoke to Jordan directly about Strauss. He said he went to see Strauss for a thumb injury, and when the doctor tried to pull down his pants, he stormed out and complained to Jordan and Hellickson.
“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,” Yetts told NBC News.
In May, Ohio State released a report saying Strauss sexually abused at least 177 male athletes over two decades.
“It was common knowledge what Strauss was doing so the attitude was it is what it is,” the referee 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. He was breaking new ground by going after a ref.”
Strauss committed suicide in 2005, so the lawsuit filed by 43 survivors is against the university. It asserts that the school’s “ingrained culture of institutional indifference” enabled Strauss to sexually abuse student-athletes, and cites instances of Strauss “drugging and raping athletes.”
Jordan has repeatedly denied knowing anything about Strauss’ offenses.