According to CNN Adam DiSabato testified at an Ohio statehouse hearing on Tuesday that Jim Jordan, a Republican who represents Ohio’s 4th congressional district, asked him to contradict the claims of an alleged sex assault victim. The alleged victim is DiSabato’s brother Mike DiSabato.
Mike DiSabato is one of 48 men who wrestled at Ohio State University between 1987 and 1991 who have accused former team doctor Richard Strauss of groping them. Strauss died by suicide in August 2005.
177 students and student athletes have come forwards with stories of abuse by Strauss, who worked as a team doctor on numerous OSU athletic programs, as well as at an off-campus clinic.
Jordan, a former two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion, was an assistant coach at OSU between 1987 and 1995. Mike DiSabato, and other wrestlers, have alleged that Jordan and other coaches knew about the abuse and failed to protect students.
On Tuesday Adam DiSabato, who also wrestled at OSU, stated, “Jim Jordan called me crying, crying. Groveling. On the 4th of July, begging me to go against my brother. Begging me. Crying for a half hour. That’s the kind of cover-ups that’s going on there.”
DiSabato added that while he was a captain on the team he reported Strauss to Jordan. “They did nothing,” testified DiSabato. “They told me they went to their superiors (who) told them to be happy where we’re at and keep our mouth shut.”
A spokesperson for Jordan accused DiSabato of lying.
“Congressman Jordan never saw or heard of any abuse, and if he had he would have dealt with it,” said Jordan’s office in a statement to CNN. “Congressman Jordan would never ask anyone to do anything but tell the truth.”
This is not the first time there have been allegations of former OSU wrestlers being asked to absolve Jordan of any guilt over this affair.
Last August NBC News reported that Russ Hellickson, who was head coach of the wrestling program in the 80s and 90s, had contacted Mike DiSabato and Dunyasha Yetts (who claims to have told Jordan that Strauss abused him) to ask them to focus on Strauss and not bring up Jordan when discussing the scandal.
Another OSU wrestler who claimed that Jordan knew about the abuse is UFC Hall of Famer and former heavyweight champion Marc Coleman. Initially, Coleman told the Wall Street Journal that, “There’s no way unless [Jordan’s] got dementia or something that he’s got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State. I have nothing but respect for this man, I love this man, but he knew as far as I’m concerned.”
A day later Coleman told CNN that he “spoke without thinking” and that he “shouldn’t have said” what was quoted in the WSJ. “[Jordan] may have known about some locker room banter, because we did joke about it in the locker room, but I don’t know of anyone ever reporting it to Jim Jordan directly.”
Over the past 12 months Jim Jordan — a ranking member on the House Oversight Committee — has emerged as one of President Donald Trump’s most loyal defenders. In 2019 he lead the defense of Trump during public impeachment hearings.