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Allegations that Rep. Jim Jordan failed to stop a team doctor from sexually abusing student athletes when the Ohio Republican was a college wrestling coach is complicating his possible bid for Speaker of the House.
The NBC News story dropped Tuesday just as Jordan began reaching out to GOP colleagues, urging them to ditch Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and instead back him for the top job in the House GOP conference.
Jordan, 54, the powerful founding chairman of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, has not formally announced a bid for Speaker but has said he plans to be “part of the discussion” in the race to replace retiring Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) after the fall midterm elections.
The article goes on to state the following:
Three former wrestlers at Ohio State University (OSU) told NBC News that Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005, sexually molested teammates when he served as the team doctor from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s. It would have been impossible for Jordan not to have known about the abuse, the wrestlers told the news outlet.
One of Jordan’s former wrestlers, Dunyasha Yetts, said he and his teammates personally complained to Jordan and others about Strauss’s inappropriate behavior many times. But some Jordan allies cast doubt about the credibility of his accusers. Yetts, a former wrestling champ, spent 18 months in prison for bilking investors out of nearly $2 million.
Another accuser quoted in the NBC story, Mike DiSabato, has a long history of litigation, including a 2007 suit against OSU over a merchandising dispute, according to the university’s student newspaper.
OSU has launched an independent investigation into the allegations against Strauss and whether enough was done to protect the students.
In a statement, Jordan, a former Ohio state lawmaker and seven-term congressman, explicitly denied having any knowledge of the alleged abuse while coaching at OSU from 1986 to 1994.
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