Jim Jordan is an extreme right wing Republican (redundant, I know) congressman from Ohio who has shown himself to be a true and loyal Trumper. He has now been accused by multiple people that when he was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University, he ignored rampant sexual abuse and harassment that included, but was not limited to, the wrestling team’s doctor who routinely molested the wrestlers, requiring them undress and fondling their genitals even if they came for something like a sprained thumb.
Multiple former wrestlers have accused Jordan, a National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, of being among the faculty members who turned a blind eye to inappropriate behavior by the late Richard Strauss, the university’s former athletic doctor. Strauss allegedly preyed on male students during physicals, groping them to the point of making them ejaculate, according to one nurse who witnessed it and recounted the story in a video produced by alleged victims and obtained by POLITICO.
Ohio State has launched an investigation into Strauss’ behavior. Strauss worked at the university from 1978 to 1998. He killed himself in 2005.
The article describes activities that are so gross and egregious that it is incredible that a staff member of the wrestling team would not know about them.
A half-dozen ex-wrestlers told POLITICO they were regularly harassed in their training facility by sexually aggressive men who attended the university or worked there. The voyeurs would masturbate while watching the wrestlers shower or sit in the sauna, or engage in sexual acts in the areas where the athletes trained, the former wrestlers said.
Larkins Hall, the building that housed athletic teams, became such a well-known target that people who frequented it at the time have reminisced in anonymous postings online how easy it was to ogle naked members of the wrestling team.
The situation was so egregious that former wrestling head coach Russ Hellickson would at times have to physically drag the gawkers out of the building, several sources familiar with his actions at the time said. Hellickson also pleaded with the university multiple times to move their athletes to a private facility, the sources said. Jordan served as Hellickson’s No. 2, and the coach has been described as Jordan’s mentor.
The accusations could exacerbate Jordan’s troubles. He was the wrestling team’s assistant coach from 1986 to 1994 and has adamantly denied knowledge of any sexual abuse.
One former wrestler told POLITICO he saw Jordan yell at male voyeurs to get out of the sauna, though Jordan’s office refuted this account. Even three wrestlers who defended Jordan said it would have been impossible for him not to notice the pervasive toxic atmosphere surrounding the team.
When it is common knowledge that people can some in off the streets and watch athletes in the showers, how could the university not have known about this kind of behavior and taken action to stop it? The university has launched an inquiry in the events.
Jordan has vehemently denied any knowledge whatsoever of the abuse but has used the carefully parsed language that usually means that he is preparing a legalistic defense, distinguishing between the Trumpian excuse of ‘locker room talk’ that and the more formal ‘reports of abuse’.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R), hit with multiple accusations that he knew about but failed to take action against a sexual abuser, just gave a hyper-aggressive interview to Fox News’ Bret Baier. First, this wasn’t your standard Hannity/Tucker-style Fox interview. Baier wasn’t antagonistic but he was deliberate and focused and pressed Jordan on the key points. Jordan attacked his accusers, particularly the first one who came forward, Mike DeSabato. But what was most revealing is that Jordan repeatedly fell back on the distinction between ‘locker room talk’ and formal accusations. “Conversations in a locker room are a lot different than allegations of abuse or reported abuse to us,” Jordan told Baier.
This seemed to me as much as an admission since the kind of ‘everybody knew’ locker room talk is exactly what Jordan’s accusers say happened. Baier focused in on this and asked Jordan whether he heard things in locker room conversations, even things that may have not seemed like abuse twenty years ago but do today.
Jordan denied it but then repeatedly came back to the same ‘locker room talk’/formal accusation distinction.
Jordan is known for self-righteously and sanctimoniously lecturing other people on their responsibility for actions that they may have only been marginally involved in or known about. His own wordsare now being used against him.