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Paul Ryan: Allegations Against Rep. Jordan Are 'Serious'

'The university has rightfully initiated a full investigation into the matter,' Ryan says
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2018 12:40 PM CDT
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., talks to reporters following a closed-door GOP strategy session at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 26, 2018.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – With political pressure rising, House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke up Friday on the question of whether Jim Jordan knew about sexual abuse by Ohio State University's wrestling-team doctor decades ago, USA Today reports. "These are serious allegations and issues," Ryan says via a spokesman. "The university has rightfully initiated a full investigation into the matter. The speaker will await the findings of that inquiry." Several wrestlers say Jordan, an assistant wrestling coach at OSU in the 1980s and '90s, knew that Dr. Richard Strauss allegedly abused wrestlers on a regular basis. Jordan denies it, and Trump said Thursday that he's behind Jordan "100 percent." But more ex-wrestlers are telling tales of alleged abuse and sexual misconduct at OSU—and not all by Strauss.

Six former wrestlers say sexually aggressive male visitors often harassed them at the OSU training facility, Politico reports. The men allegedly masturbated while wrestlers sat in the sauna or showered, or had sex with each other in athletes' training areas. Several sources say it got so bad that ex-wrestling head coach Russ Hellickson had to physically remove them and begged the school to get his wrestlers a private facility. One ex-wrestler says he saw Jordan (who worked directly under Hellickson) yell at the gawkers to leave the sauna. But others say Jordan was a good man in a sexually deviant atmosphere. "Was there sexual misconduct? No one is denying that," says former OSU wrestler George Pardos, who calls Jordan "one of the most honest men I've ever known." (Read more sexual assault stories.)

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