Another witness to the sexual misconduct of former Ohio State University physician Richard Strauss has come forward to say that Rep. Jim Jordan was aware of the doctors abuse, according to NBC News.
A professional referee, identified in court papers as John Doe 42, said he personally informed the Ohio Republican, then the assistant wrestling coach, that Strauss masturbated in front of him in the shower following a match in 1994.
“Yeah, that’s Strauss,” Jordan and then-head coach Russ Hellickson replied, according to the referee. The lawmaker helped coach at Ohio State from 1986 to 1994 but has maintained that he knew nothing of the sexual abuse perpetrated by Strauss.
Strauss died in 2005.
John Doe 42 told NBC News: “It was common knowledge what Strauss was doing, so the attitude was it is what it is. 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.”
Other former Ohio State wrestlers have indicated that Strauss’ behavior was well known among the wrestling staff, claiming that Jordan certainly knew because he participated in open discussions in the locker room about what the doctor was doing.
The lawsuit, filed by 43 abuse survivors against the university, alleges the school’s “ingrained culture of institutional indifference” allowed Strauss to abuse male students for two decades. Independent investigators found 177 victims of the doctor’s sexual abuse during that time.
NBC News said “an investigation commissioned by the university and conducted by the Perkins Coie law firm found that what Strauss was doing was an ‘open secret’ and that the coaches and administrators at Ohio State knew for two decades that the doctor was abusing students but failed to stop him, according to a report released in May.”