Former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato, who claimed to NBC News that Rep. Jim Jordan (OH) ignored allegations of sexual abuse against the team’s doctor when he was the university’s assistant wrestling coach, told CNN host Brooke Baldwin that the Republican lawmaker witnessed the doctor commit “lewd acts while showering with athletes when the lawmaker served as an assistant wrestling coach at the school.”
Jordan, a House Freedom Caucus founder who coached wrestling at Ohio State from 1986 to 1994, denies having any knowledge of the allegations of abuse against Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005.
DiSabato told NBC News that Jordan “is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”
During an appearance on CNN Wednesday morning, DiSabato said that he knows “Jim knew about what I called the deviant sexual atmosphere that we were exposed to.”
He explained that Jordan was “more like a big brother than a coach,” and that their families are close and they still talk.
DiSabato insisted that he had reported Dr. Strauss’ inappropriate behavior to Jordan.
“These conversations were not individual conversations,” Di Sabato recalled. “They were conversations with a group of athletes who were complaining on a regular basis, not only about Dr. Strauss but the conditions within the hall that forced us to take showers with, not only Dr. Strauss, but other university faculty members and professors who had access to our shower facility that led to lewd acts, masturbation, excessive soaping of the groin area.”
“And Dr. Strauss took a lot of showers and soaped himself a lot,” he added. “When you look at the definition of sexual abuse and sexual assault — and Jim Jordan went on record saying he knew about the facilities, he took showers with us. He saw Dr. Strauss and others perform these acts in front of us.”
Asked whether he had been in contact with Jordan before going public, DiSabato said he had exchanged messages with the conservative lawmaker “didn’t deny what was happening, and he said he wanted to be left out of it.”