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Rep. Jim Jordan escapes mention in 'Dr. Jelly Paws' Ohio State sex abuse report — claims vindication

By Dave Goldiner • Updated May 18, 2019 at 4:41 PM

(UPDATED at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18, 2019)

This story cites NBC News as the source for the claim that the House of Representatives education committee would be looking into Jordan’s alleged role in the scandal. However, after this story was made available to Tribune Content Agency clients, NBC News posted the following correction in a story on its website:

“An earlier version of this article mischaracterized the plans of the House Committee on Education and Labor. After the article was published, a committee aide said the panel would look into the broader issue of preventing abuse, revising an earlier statement that suggested the committee would look into Jordan's involvement.”

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U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) is claiming vindication after his name did not appear in a bombshell new Ohio State University report detailing claims that a doctor dubbed “Dr. Jelly Paws” molested at least 177 young men for years.

Neither the Tea Party conservative nor other athletic coaches are mentioned in the official report despite its admission that the abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss was an “open secret” at the Big Ten powerhouse.

“University personnel had knowledge of Strauss’ sexually abusive treatment of male student-patients as early as 1979, but the complaints about Strauss’ conduct were not elevated,” the report states.

Jordan said the report released Friday exonerates him, although it doesn’t mention any of the “coaches and trainers” who it says knew about Strauss’s abuse.

"It confirms exactly what I’ve said all along: that I didn’t know any type of harm to athletes,” Jordan told the Washington Post. “If I did, I would have done something about it.”

But a source told NBC News that the House of Representatives education committee would be looking into Jordan’s alleged role in the scandal.

A onetime wrestler who says he was abused as a student-athlete also shot down Jordan’s claims of innocence.

“Jim Jordan knew, they all knew, and they did nothing,” Mike DiSabato told NBC News.

DiSabato and other former wrestlers at the school told NBC News last year that they find it impossible to believe that Jordan was unaware of Strauss’s reputation for fondling buff teenage boys. They described a culture of abuse on the team, where Jordan served as assistant coach for several years, including grown men regularly lingering in the locker room and watching athletes shower.

Strauss committed suicide in 2005.

At least 20 victims have sued Ohio State along with university officials. The university is fighting those lawsuits claiming among other things that the statute of limitations has expired.

Ohio State President Michael Drake called the scandal a “fundamental failure” and offered “profound regret and sincere apologies to each person who endured Strauss’ abuse.

Janet Garrett, a Democrat who has three times ran unsuccessfully against Jordan, called on Jordan to resign.

"I am absolutely horrified by the details within the report released earlier today,” she said Friday. “It is very clear that the university's leaders — the coaches chief among them — failed the 177 documented victims of sexual abuse. Far too many men in power turned a blind eye to very serious, life-altering abuse.

“I initially learned of Jim Jordan's possible involvement in the scandal during my last campaign against him. I declined to call for Jim's resignation because I wanted to give Ohio State the chance to fully investigate what happened and determine the truth of who knew what and when. It's clear to me in reviewing the report that it is beyond a reasonable doubt that Jim Jordan knew about the abuse going on, and did nothing to stop it. While the report stopped short of calling him out by name, it clearly stated that coaches, other doctors, and administrators of the athletic department knew of the abuse.

“Therefore, I am calling for Congressman Jim Jordan to resign immediately, as he has lost his capacity to honorably serve the people of Ohio. If he were still a coach at Ohio State, he would be fired. There is no reason he should continue to serve in the US Congress.”


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