A year-long investigation conducted by a law firm hired by The Ohio State University (OSU) has found that former team doctor Richard Strauss abused at least 177 male students, but couldn’t conclusively prove coaches knew about the abuse and did nothing.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was an assistant wrestling coach at OSU between 1987 and 1995. For the past year, he has maintained that he did not know what Strauss was doing to athletes. On Friday, Jordan told reporters the report had vindicated him, according to the Washington Examiner.
“I think the report speaks for itself,” Jordan said. “It confirmed everything I have said all along.”
“You guys know me,” he added. “If I thought one of our athletes was being harmed … I’d have done something. But, yeah, we’re glad that the report’s done and that people who need counseling and want counseling, the university’s going to pay for that.”
Last year, as it was reported Jordan might run for House Speaker after Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) retired, a number of former OSU wrestlers emerged to accuse the congressman of doing nothing to help them. The Daily Wire previously reported that eight former wrestlers — many of whom remained anonymous — accused their former assistant coach of knowing about Strauss’ alleged abuse.
In response, 15 former wrestlers provided statements defending Jordan. Some simply defended Jordan’s character, others said they themselves had never seen or heard of Strauss’ alleged abuse (though they did call him “weird” and “a little odd”). Others said they had witnessed or heard about Strauss’ abuse, but that Jordan didn’t know about it.
OSU had already been investigating Strauss — who committed suicide in 2005 — when the accusations against Jordan surfaced. The university hired law firm Perkins Coie (the same one hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign that paid Fusion GPS for uncorroborated opposition research into the Trump campaign) to investigate the former doctor.
After interviewing more than 500 people, the 232-page report could “not identify any other contemporaneous documentary evidence indicating that members of the O.S.U. coaching staff, including head coaches or assistant coaches, received or were aware of the complaints regarding Strauss sexual misconduct.” There was one fencing coach who appears to have been aware, the report mentioned.
The report continued: “However, the Investigation Team received allegations from numerous student-athletes indicating that they talked about Strauss’s inappropriate genital exams and complained about Strauss’s locker-room voyeurism directly to — or in front of — O.S.U. coaching staff.”
Twenty-two coaches who were interviewed by investigators said they were “aware of rumors and/or complaints about Strauss.” Other coaches denied knowing.
Dunyasha Yetts, one of the two most vocal accusers of Jordan, claimed to have personally complained to Jordan. He told The New York Times that on three occasions he expressed concern to Jordan about Strauss. He said that Jordan even confronted the doctor on one occasion, and would tell Strauss to get out of the showers when the wrestlers needed to use them. Two other wrestlers confirmed Yetts’ story, but Jordan has previously said that “no one ever reported any abuse to me.”