Rep. Jim Jordan interviewed in Ohio State sexual abuse investigation, doubles down on denial

Rep. Jim Jordan interviewed in Ohio State sexual abuse investigation, doubles down on denial
Rep. Jim Jordan was interviewed as part of the independent investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by a former team doctor at Ohio State University. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was interviewed as part of an independent investigation into allegations of sexual abuse at Ohio State University by a former athletics team doctor, according to The Hill.

The law firm Perkins Coie LLP is handling the investigation, and initially said Jordan had been unresponsive to requests for an interview, although Jordan said it was simply because the firm was sending messages to the wrong email address.

What did he tell investigators?

Jordan told investigators the exact same thing he has told the public — that he knew nothing about alleged sexual abuse of Ohio State athletes by former team doctor Richard Strauss while Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach at the school.

“Congressman Jordan has told the investigators the same thing he’s told you guys in the media since day one,” said Jordan spokesman Ian Fury, The Hill reported. “He has never had any abuse reported to him. As we’ve said, we’re happy to assist the investigation any way we can.”

Several former wrestlers accused Jordan of doing nothing after hearing reports that Strauss was sexually abusing wrestlers. Jordan has denied the claims repeatedly, and has been defended by fellow former coaches and members of Congress.

Former athletes sue the school

Adding to the trouble for Ohio State, five former wrestlers filed two class action lawsuits against the university that accuse administrators of failing to act on Strauss’ alleged abuse, despite having knowledge of it.

Four wrestlers filed one of the lawsuits, and a fifth filed the other, which both make similar claims.

“Just like with the #MeToo movement, there is strength in numbers,” said Steve Etsey, an attorney representing one of the four wrestlers from the first lawsuit, according to NBC News. “The more people who come forward and support our clients with their own stories, the more credibility they’ll get. But the truth will come out.”

According to one of the lawsuits, male athletes in 14 sports were subject to “excessive and medically unnecessary fondling, touching and groping” during routine exams, and even though students allegedly complained to coaches, administrators, and even the athletic director, Strauss was allowed to retire without punishment.