Jim Jordan sexual abuse scandal timeline; a record of the accusers to date

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio has been accused of knowing of, and doing nothing about, the serial sexual abuse of college wrestlers under his purview, by their team doctor Richard Strauss, while he was serving as assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University in the 1980s and 1990s.

As the Washington Post notes, five of the accusers say they “like” Jordan, several consider him a friend, and one even donated to his election campaign. So Jordan’s claims, that the allegations against him are part of a deep-state conspiracy involving the FBI and Justice Department. ring hollow.

In an effort to clarify this story, here’s what we know so far:

Accusers 1, 2, 3 (July 3)

NBC News broke the story that three former Ohio State wrestlers say that Rep. Jordan must have known about the abuse because it was so prevalent that everyone, from the students to the coaches, knew it was happening. And one former wrestler says he told Jordan directly about the abuse.

“Three former wrestlers told NBC News that it was common knowledge that Strauss showered regularly with the students and inappropriately touched them during appointments, and said it would have been impossible for Jordan to be unaware; one wrestler said he told Jordan directly about the abuse.”

Accuser 1: Mike DiSabato says the team doctor groped him dozens of times (and that Jim Jordan must have known about the doctor’s reputation):

“I never saw Doc Strauss over a nine-year time frame (including DiSabato’s time as a graduate student) where he didn’t ask me to — where I went to see him for medicine or whatever, finger injury, shoulder, knee — where he did not want to examine my testicles,” he said. “He groped. Every time.”

He said he was forced to let it happen.

“If you wanted your meds, if you wanted to stay healthy … so that you could stay on scholarship, you grinned and beared it, so to speak,” he said.

DiSabato later said his first interaction with Strauss was when he was a 14-year-old. Strauss, he said, was conducting research on body fat and high school wrestlers, and DiSabato was a subject.

The body fat test included a genital exam, something “I know (now) to be unnecessary,” DiSabato said.

Accuser 2: Dunyasha Yetts says he told Jordan and head coach Russ Hellickson that the doctor pulled down his shorts for a thumb injury.
Accuser 3: Anonymous. Tells NBC that “there is no way Jordan could have avoided the rumors ‘because it was all over the locker room.’ ‘I love Jimmy to death,’ the ex-wrestler said. ‘It was a head-scratcher to me why he would say he didn’t know anything. Doc used to take showers with the team even though he didn’t do any workouts, and everybody used to snicker about how you go into his office for a sore shoulder and he tells you to take your pants down.'”

Jordan’s denials (July 3)

Jordan personally, and through his spokesman, flatly denied any previous knowledge of any abuse. Here is Jim Jordan quoted by Politico on July 3:

“It’s not true,” Jordan said. “I never knew about any type of abuse. 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.”

And here is Jordan’s spokesman, quoted by NBC News on July 3:

“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,” his spokesman, Ian Fury, said in an email to NBC News.

Accuser 4 (July 5)

Accuser 4: Shawn Dailey, a Republican who is a former Jordan campaign donor, says he was groped half a dozen times by Dr Strauss. And while he didn’t tell Jordan directly about the abuse, he was present when Dunyasha Yetts’ told Jordan about Yetts’ own abuse at the doctor’s hands. Per NBC:

Dailey corroborated the account of one of those wrestlers, Dunyasha Yetts, who told NBC News that Yetts had protested to Jordan and head coach Russ Hellickson after Strauss tried to pull down his wrestling shorts when Yetts went to see him for a thumb injury.

“Dunyasha comes back and tells Jimmy, ‘Seriously, why do I have to pull down my pants for a thumb injury?’” Dailey recalled. “Jimmy said something to the extent of, ‘If he tried that with me, I would kill him.'”

Accuser 5 (July 5)

Accuser 5: Mark Coleman, another former wrestler and UFC world champion, that Jordan must have been aware of the abuse because the serial abuse was such common knowledge. Coleman also says he was Jordan’s “roommate” on several wrestling trips. From the WSJ:

“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 … I have nothing but respect for this man, I love this man, but he knew as far as I’m concerned.”

Accuser 6 (?)

Accuser 6: Unknown. Multiple news reports mention there being “seven” accusers, but they don’t actually explain who is the 6th accuser. Either they miscounted, or one accuser wanted to stay anonymous and on background, so he’s included in the tally, but not the exposition of the claims. Does anyone have more information on this witness?

Witness 6 could be former nursing student and Strauss medical assistant Brian Garrett, who witnessed the assault of one student, and then had Strauss assault him as well.

Jordan appears to flip-flop on Fox News (July 6)

Jordan appears on Fox News, and presents a new theory by which “locker room” talk does not count as a report of abuse. This is an interesting departure from Jordan’s previous blanket denials that the students had discussed the abuse with Jordan in the locker room, as they had claimed. Jordan is now saying that even if such discussions occurred, they did not rise to the level of a “report of abuse” because of the venue.

Accuser 7 (July 8)

Accuser 7: David Range, a former wrestler, says Jordan was present during group discussions in the locker room about the doctor’s behavior: “We talked about it all the time in the locker room” while Jordan was there, he said. “Everybody joked about it and talked about it all the time.”

Accuser 8 (July 9)

Accuser 8: Anonymous former wrestler tells CNN that the abuse was so notorious at the time that Jordan must have known.

Several former coaches defend Jordan, but lead coach contradicts self on video (July 9)

CNN reports that a number of former Ohio State coaches, including former head coach Russ Hellickson, have come to the defense of Jordan, claiming they never heard about any problems the kids were having with the team doctor. There’s a problem with this claim: The head coach already confessed on tape to hearing disturbing reports about the doctor, and scolding the doctor about it. Also, Accuser #9 told CNN that Hellickson knew about the abuse, and intervened to stop it. More here.

Accuser 9 (July 10)

Accuser 9: AnonymousA ninth former college wrestler has stepped forward to accuse GOP Rep Jim Jordan of knowing, and doing nothing, about the serial sexual assault of college wrestlers under his purview as the assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University in the 1980s and 1990s.

The wrestler, who asked CNN to remain anonymous, says he was molested by the team doctor, Richard Strauss, during an exam, and that he told Jordan about it, in front of other wrestlers. Jordan’s response? He laughed, and then said “I have nothing to do with this,” according to the wrestler.

Accusers 10 & 11 (July 11)

Accuser 10: Reid Delaman
Accuser 11: Michael Alf

Two more former Ohio State wrestlers say GOP Rep. Jim Jordan must have heard his then- college wrestlers talking about the sexual abuse they were suffering at the hands of their team doctor, Richard Strauss. NBC reports that, ironically, the two thought they were defending Jordan with their comments. This brings to 11 the number of former wrestlers saying Jim Jordan must have heard about the abuse.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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