Ex-OSU Wrestling Captain Says Jordan Begged Him To Deny Claims He Knew Of Sexual Abuse

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) sits during a break in an impeachment hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on December 9, 2019. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images)
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February 12, 2020 2:33 p.m.

Adam DiSabato, a former captain of Ohio State University’s wrestling team, testified on Wednesday that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) had begged him in 2018 to repudiate allegations that the congressman was aware of the former wrestling team doctor’s sexual abuse of the student wrestlers.

During a hearing on a bill in Ohio’s general assembly that would make it easier for Dr. Richard Strauss’ victims to sue OSU, DiSabato recalled that Jordan, who served as the team’s assistant coach from 1987 to 1995, kept calling him in July 2018 after DiSabato’s brother, Michael, and several other former wrestlers publicly accused Jordan of ignoring Strauss’ abuse.

“Jim Jordan called me crying, groveling … begging me to go against my brother. … That’s the kind of cover-up that’s going on there,” DiSabato told Ohio lawmakers, according to Cleveland.com.

Ian Fury, Jordan’s communications director, told TPM in an emailed statement that the Republican lawmaker “never saw or heard of any abuse, and if he had he would have dealt with it.”

Fury had a more aggressive response in his statement to Cleveland.com, blasting DiSabato’s account as “another lie.”

Matt Finkes, Jordan’s cousin who works for OSU, disputed DiSabato’s account on Wednesday. In a separate interview with Cleveland.com, Finkes claimed that the ex-wrestling captain had apologized to him in July 2018 after Michael DiSabato came forward with his accusation against Jordan.

Michael DiSabato has alleged in an ongoing lawsuit against OSU that Finkes retaliated against him by posting his social security number on social media.

Jordan has vehemently denied claims he turned a blind eye while Strauss assaulted the students.

In his testimony on Tuesday, DiSabato accused the Republican of “throwing us under the bus, all of us.”

“He’s a coward,” the former OSU wrestler told state lawmakers.

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