Congressman Accused of Covering Up Sexual Abuse to Keynote Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Dinner

The group's president, Steve Scheffler, suggested the allegations Jordan covered up evidence of sexual abuse as a wrestling coach at Ohio State were part of a Deep State conspiracy theory to discredit the lawmaker

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US Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio

Congressman Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican facing multiple allegations that he failed to report sexual abuse by a team doctor while he was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University, will keynote an Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition fundraising dinner Sept. 22, according to the Des Moines Register.

A conservative opponent of gay rights and the first chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, Jordan has denied allegations for over a month now from at least eight former OSU wrestlers that he knew about the abuse but never reported it. Although one of the wrestlers recently clarified his remarks, saying he had no direct knowledge that Jordan was aware of the abuse, others claimed they either told Jordan directly or were certain he knew about how the doctor, Richard Strauss, molested them repeatedly during exams and lingered in the locker room as they took showers.

Despite the multiple allegations, Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition President Steve Scheffler told the Register Thursday evening — falsely — that Jordan had “disproved” them, suggesting that the congressman was the victim of a conspiracy.

“We are proud to have him,” Scheffler said. “He has disproved those allegations. You know, just because somebody said it doesn’t make it so. You know, anytime anybody stands up to the Clinton administration or the Obama administration, or takes a stand against the ‘Deep State,’ the left will do anything that it can to destroy someone. I am convinced of that.”

The Deep State is a conspiracy theory about a nonexistent group of people in federal intelligence agencies covertly attempting to undermine the Trump administration and his political allies.

Last month, a class-action lawsuit was filed against OSU over the allegations against Strauss, who committed suicide in 2005. It names Jordan and two other former officials at the university. “John Doe,” the lead plaintiff in the suit, claims he was assaulted by the former doctor more than 20 times. The suit adds specific details, including that Doe once visited Strauss to have a rib injury treated and was told to expose his genitals for a hernia examination, that the doctor would force athletes to be examined, and that he would take photographs of them after they disrobed.

Strauss “regularly touched students’ genitals and breast areas, often at the same time, regularly measured students’ scrotums, all for the purpose of his own sexual arousal and gratification, and for no legitimate medical purpose and for no other reason than to satisfy his own sexual desires,” the suit also alleges.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.