Saturday, July 07, 2018

"A Cesspool of Deviancy": More Witnesses Test Jim Jordan Specious Denials

Witnesses indicate Jordan is lying about his knowledge of ongoing sexual abuse. 

Perhaps I should not gloat, but I love seeing morally bankrupt Republicans who willingly prostitute themselves to hate-filled Christian extremists and bloviate about "family values" self-immolate as the get caught up in sex scandals.   A perfect example is former House Speaker Dennis Hastert who was a sexual predator who was ultimate criminally convicted or abuse of your athletes. Another is former Virginia 2nd district congressman Ed Schrock who voted vociferously anti-gay and whined about sharing showers with gays - even as he was seeking gay sex trysts.  There are many other examples, but the one who may soon join the list of men like Hastert and Schrock is Ohio GOP Congressman Jim Jordan. Each time Jordan disclaims any knowledge of the sexual abuse engaged in by his boss, Ohio State wrestling coach Richard Strauss, a new witness appears who disputes his denials.  Now, additional allegations are surfacing which hopefully will ultimately lead to Jordan being driven from office.  A piece in Politico looks at the mushrooming scandal.  Here are excerpts:
New allegations in the Ohio State University sexual abuse scandal are threatening to intensify the political firestorm facing its onetime assistant wrestling coach, powerful GOP Rep. Jim Jordan.
A half-dozen ex-wrestlers told POLITICO they were regularly harassed in their training facility by sexually aggressive men who attended the university or worked there. The voyeurs would masturbate while watching the wrestlers shower or sit in the sauna, or engage in sexual acts in the areas where the athletes trained, the former wrestlers said.
Larkins Hall, the building that housed athletic teams, became such a well-known target that people who frequented it at the time have reminisced in anonymous postings online how easy it was to ogle naked members of the wrestling team.
The situation was so egregious that former wrestling head coach Russ Hellickson would at times have to physically drag the gawkers out of the building, several sources familiar with his actions at the time said. Hellickson also pleaded with the university multiple times to move their athletes to a private facility, the sources said. Jordan served as Hellickson’s No. 2 . . . .
The accusations could exacerbate Jordan’s troubles. He was the wrestling team’s assistant coach from 1986 to 1994 and has adamantly denied knowledge of any sexual abuse. . . . they said he would have had to know about it. One former wrestler told POLITICO he saw Jordan yell at male voyeurs to get out of the sauna, though Jordan’s office refuted this account. Even three wrestlers who defended Jordan said it would have been impossible for him not to notice the pervasive toxic atmosphere surrounding the team.
“Coaching my athletes in Larkins Hall was one of the most difficult things I ever did,” said a former wrestling coach who worked with Jordan but asked not to be named. “It was a cesspool of deviancy. And that’s a whole ’nother story that no one has addressed.”
Multiple former wrestlers have accused Jordan, a National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, of being among the faculty members who turned a blind eye to inappropriate behavior by the late Richard Strauss, the university’s former athletic doctor. Strauss allegedly preyed on male students during physicals, groping them to the point of making them ejaculate, according to one nurse who witnessed it and recounted the story in a video produced by alleged victims and obtained by POLITICO.
Ohio State has launched an investigation into Strauss’ behavior. Strauss worked at the university from 1978 to 1998. He killed himself in 2005.
Jordan has become the face of the controversy because of his current high profile as a leader of the hard-line conservative Freedom Caucus. But the Ohio State scandal, which first came to light in April, goes well beyond him.
Now, Jordan is one of the most powerful members of the House and a potential candidate for speaker. . . . He is close with President Donald Trump, who expressed his support for the Ohio Republican on Thursday night.
The controversy will continue next week when Congress returns from its Fourth of July recess, and he is pressed by reporters for more information. . . . But Jordan’s denials have upset several of his former wrestlers, who want him to acknowledge what they felt as victims of sexual abuse.
Dunyasha Yetts, a former champion wrestler at the university, agreed that “sexual abuse” wasn’t used to describe what was occurring. But he accused Jordan of playing word games. Yetts said he was easily the most vocal person on the team to complain about Strauss and the Larkins Hall situation. Yetts claimed he not only told Jordan about Strauss’ behavior, but asked Jordan and Hellickson to confront the doctor with him.
At one point after being injured during his senior year, Yetts said he asked Jordan and Hellickson to come into Strauss’ examination room with him because he didn’t want to be fondled.
The Ohio State scandal — and talk of Jordan specifically — is tearing apart the university’s once tight-knit alumni wrestling network. Jordan’s former wrestlers are now warring publicly, with some accusing him of not doing enough to protect them and others coming to his defense.
DiSabato, however, is only one of several witnesses to have come forward. Even defenders of Jordan told POLITICO that the environment in Larkins Hall was abhorrent. Jordan used to work out with the students and use the sauna with them, even creating his own jocular “King of the Sauna” award at the end of the year for the wrestler who was best at trash talking his opponents and boasting of his successes post-practice. That’s why several wrestlers said it‘s implausible that Jordan didn’t see anything, despite his denials.
University spokesman Benjamin Johnson acknowledged in a statement that Ohio State is “aware of reports that individuals at the university did not respond appropriately during Richard Strauss’ time at Ohio State from 1978-1998” and said the school is investigating.
Again, I hope Jordan goes down. 

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