Referee says he complained to Jim Jordan about sexual misconduct by Ohio State athletics department doctor, lawsuit alleges

A new lawsuit accuses Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) of failing to take action against sexual misconduct when he was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University in the 90s. CNN's Jean Casarez has more on the case.

Posted: Nov 10, 2019 11:00 PM
Updated: Nov 10, 2019 11:00 PM

A college wrestling referee says former Ohio State University athletic team doctor Richard Strauss masturbated in front of him inside a locker room shower in the mid-1990's, according to a new lawsuit filed against the school.

When he reported the incident to OSU's wrestling coaches -- US Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, then the team's assistant coach, and Russ Hellickson, the team's former head coach -- they failed to take any action, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday.

They responded, "Yeah, that's Strauss," the referee, referred to in the lawsuit as John Doe 42, alleges.

The lawsuit, filed in Ohio federal court by 43 men who claim they were "sexually assaulted, abused, molested and/or harassed by Dr. Strauss," is filed against OSU alone and has no individual defendants.

Jordan has previously denied knowing about allegations of sexual abuse at Ohio State. And he did again Friday.

"Congressman Jordan never saw or heard of any kind of sexual abuse, and if he had he would've dealt with it. Multiple investigations have confirmed this simple fact," a spokesperson from his office said in a statement Friday.

When reached by CNN, Hellickson declined to comment.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit do not list Jordan or Hellickson as one of the 20 named "OSU employees with authority to take corrective action to address it" who were notified about Strauss' alleged sexual harassment.

The referee is at least the second person to publicly say he directly told Jordan about alleged inappropriate behavior by Strauss.

Scott Smith, an attorney representing the 43 Strauss victims, said Friday the former doctor's abuse should not focus on Jordan, but OSU as a whole complicit institution.

"This isn't a political issue in our estimation. This is an issue about Ohio State. This isn't about Jim Jordan, he happens to be a witness. He just happens to be a name of a person who was present," Smith said.

Strauss was found by independent investigators hired by OSU to have sexually abused at least 177 students while he worked at the school between 1978 and 1998. He died by suicide in 2005.

The plaintiffs say the university's "knowledge, deliberate indifference and culpability" helped facilitate alleged abuse of student-athletes and others by Strauss.

Ohio State issued this statement in response to the lawsuit: "Ohio State has led the effort to investigate and expose the misdeeds of Richard Strauss and the systemic failures to respond, and the university is committed to a fair resolution."

This suit alleges Title IX violations

Several other lawsuits have been filed against Ohio State over the allegations concerning Strauss.

A suit filed last May by 37 former OSU students alleged the university "actively concealed" its knowledge of actions by the doctor. Two class action suits filed in 2018 by former wrestlers said the university turned a blind eye to a doctor's alleged sexual abuse of student athletes.

The new lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory damages for a litany of costs, including medical expenses, for deprivation of rights, for past, present, and future emotional pain and suffering, and for a loss of future earnings. The plaintiffs also seek a declaration that OSU violated Title IX by facilitating sexual harassment of students.

In the complaint, another former OSU student referred to as John Doe 32 claims that Strauss raped him in 1979 after he went to see the doctor after seeking treatment for pain, according to the suit. He said he blacked out from medication that Strauss gave him before waking up "face down on the floor experiencing extreme rectal pain."

Another former OSU student, Hugh Dyer, says in the lawsuit that Strauss attempted oral sex on him on multiple occasions. Dyer alleges that Strauss instructed him to take off all his clothes, complimented his body, and tried to move his mouth to Dyer's penis, but that Dyer managed to pull away each time.

Attorneys for the 43 plaintiffs call Strauss a monster who preyed on vulnerable students, many of whom were athletes fearful of losing their scholarships if they did not comply with university requirements of exams with Strauss. They characterize Strauss' conduct as "perhaps the greatest sex abuse scandal in American history" and "without question the greatest scandal in the history of American higher education."

OSU says it is paying for counseling services

OSU said in a statement Friday that it is "actively participating in good faith in the mediation process directed by the federal court" and that it has been covering the cost of professionally certified counseling services for anyone affected, as well as reimbursing costs for counseling already received. The school maintains it has taken steps to address Strauss' conduct.

"Ohio State has implemented multiple additional safeguards in the 20 years since Strauss left the university and is committed to appropriately addressing Strauss' abuse from decades ago. Richard Strauss' actions are reprehensible, and we remain deeply concerned for all those who have been affected by Strauss," the school said in a statement.

Many of the lawsuit's 43 plaintiffs dropped out of OSU and never earned a college degree, the suit says, and several still suffer debilitating anxiety and reported experiencing confusion with their sexuality. Multiple plaintiffs report fearing sending their own children off to college out of fear they may also be abused, the suit says.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 122812

Reported Deaths: 2287
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin32050965
Ramsey13185346
Dakota9146133
Anoka7955148
Stearns525534
Washington517267
Scott315634
Olmsted305029
St. Louis258563
Wright224714
Nobles211716
Clay200843
Blue Earth19587
Carver16867
Rice15629
Sherburne153221
Kandiyohi15194
Mower148912
Winona116718
Lyon9146
Waseca9089
Crow Wing86821
Chisago8312
Benton8265
Beltrami7537
Otter Tail7206
Steele7162
Todd6922
Itasca67117
Nicollet66417
Freeborn6314
Douglas5923
Martin58416
Le Sueur5825
Morrison5776
McLeod5663
Watonwan5634
Pine5040
Goodhue49711
Polk4894
Becker4833
Isanti4803
Chippewa3733
Carlton3721
Dodge3600
Mille Lacs3467
Pipestone32416
Wabasha3200
Cass3045
Meeker3043
Hubbard3012
Brown2903
Rock2861
Yellow Medicine2655
Cottonwood2610
Redwood24810
Murray2443
Fillmore2350
Sibley2353
Renville22511
Unassigned22053
Faribault2080
Swift1911
Jackson1891
Roseau1890
Kanabec18710
Houston1801
Wadena1790
Lincoln1640
Stevens1631
Pennington1621
Koochiching1604
Aitkin1511
Pope1420
Big Stone1270
Lac qui Parle1222
Wilkin1224
Lake1000
Norman930
Mahnomen911
Grant864
Marshall861
Clearwater740
Red Lake562
Traverse490
Lake of the Woods401
Kittson270
Cook110

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 106765

Reported Deaths: 1522
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk17906281
Woodbury678786
Johnson562330
Black Hawk517196
Linn5020123
Dubuque463852
Scott402433
Story383217
Dallas328843
Pottawattamie294044
Sioux228211
Buena Vista219512
Marshall192236
Webster166414
Plymouth153324
Wapello147062
Clinton134625
Muscatine132357
Crawford130312
Cerro Gordo122223
Des Moines12099
Warren11436
Carroll10238
Jasper101934
Henry9735
Marion92010
Tama89336
Lee8689
Dickinson6837
Wright6791
Delaware6728
Boone6718
Bremer6117
Washington60611
Mahaska60122
Harrison5628
Jackson5253
Lyon5117
Benton4971
Louisa49015
Clay4814
Hamilton4313
Winneshiek4299
Poweshiek42811
Hardin4215
Winnebago41916
Kossuth4150
Floyd41211
Jones4053
Emmet39314
Buchanan3893
Cedar3795
Iowa3756
Franklin36918
Guthrie36414
Cherokee3622
Sac3603
Clayton3503
Page3450
Shelby3411
Butler3402
Fayette3372
Madison3372
Mills3341
Allamakee3248
Chickasaw3191
Clarke3083
Cass3022
Palo Alto2831
Grundy2794
Humboldt2793
Hancock2724
Calhoun2573
Howard2458
Osceola2450
Monroe23711
Mitchell2270
Monona2261
Taylor2202
Union2083
Pocahontas2032
Appanoose1983
Jefferson1881
Lucas1796
Fremont1781
Ida1762
Greene1710
Van Buren1562
Davis1544
Montgomery1525
Keokuk1361
Audubon1281
Worth1260
Adair1231
Decatur1220
Wayne1113
Ringgold802
Adams670
Unassigned250
Rochester
Overcast
31° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Mason City
Overcast
33° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 27°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
34° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 29°
Austin
Broken Clouds
34° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 34°
Charles City
Scattered Clouds
32° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 27°
Tracking Snow
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Chez Bojji now open

Image

Ways to save you money this winter

Image

Sean's Weather 10/19

Image

Working to save the bees

Image

Suicide hotline number changing

Image

Sunday weather

Image

Minnesota's COVID numbers on the rise

Image

Bagging groceries for veterans

Image

Saturday night weather

Image

Saturday Weather

Community Events