A referee says he told Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan about the sexual misconduct of Ohio State doctor Richard Strauss during the congressman's time as a Buckeyes assistant coach, according to NBC News.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday, a professional referee identified as John Doe 42 claims that Jordan and then-head coach Russ Hellickson showed little concern when he reported that Strauss had masturbated in front of him in a shower after a 1994 match.
"Yeah, that's Strauss," Jordan and Hellickson reportedly said at the time. “Yeah, yeah, we know.”
The referee is the second man to say he told Jordan about Strauss' actions. Jordan, a former Buckeye wrestler who was an assistant coach from 1987 to 1995, has repeatedly denied having any knowledge of Strauss' rampant sexual abuse, which many athletes told independent investigators was an "open secret."
“It was common knowledge what Strauss was doing, so the attitude was it is what it is,” the accuser told NBC News. “I wish Jim, and Russ, too, would stand up and do the right thing and admit they knew what Strauss was doing."
Jordan's spokesman, Ian Fury, tweeted a response to the report.
— Ian Fury (@IanTFury) November 8, 2019
A university-commissioned independent investigation released in May found that Strauss, who was a doctor at Ohio State from 1978 to 1998 and died by suicide in 2005, "sexually abused at least 177 male student-patients" and was part of a sexualized environment at Larkins Hall, where the wrestling team's lockers and showers were located.
Twenty-two coaches told investigators they were aware of "rumors and/or complaints" about Strauss. Jordan was interviewed as part of the investigation, The New York Times reported. Upon its release, Jordan, who has represented Ohio's Fourth District in the House of Representatives since 2007, said the report cleared him of any accusations.
Dunyasha Yetts, who wrestled at Ohio State in 1992 and 1993, has previously said he reported Strauss' abuse to Jordan and Hellickson multiple times. Two other wrestlers confirmed to The Times that they witnessed one episode in which Yetts, in the presence of Jordan, openly complained about Strauss' fondling.