Ex-wrestler: 'Baffling' Jordan didn't help us

Former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato, who says he was a victim of sexual abuse at Ohio State University where Rep. Jim Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach, says he begged him to get involved in the investigation. Jordan says he was not aware of the abuse.

Posted: Jul 6, 2018 4:58 AM
Updated: Jul 6, 2018 5:19 AM

A former Ohio State University wrestling coach says he warned a team doctor -- whose alleged actions are the subject of a school investigation into sexual abuse allegations -- that the doctor was "too hands on" with student athletes, according to a video produced last month by a former student wrestler who says he was abused.

The video is the first public indication by any OSU coach that they had concerns about Dr. Richard Strauss, who is deceased, and his interactions with students. Three former students, including two wrestlers, say on the video that Strauss sexually abused them during medical examinations.

In the video, former head wrestling coach Russ Hellickson, who arrived at Ohio State in 1986, doesn't specify whether athletes came to him with allegations of abuse, but says he talked to the doctor about physical contact with the wrestlers.

"I told him one time, I said, 'Doctor you're much too hands on,' and he just said, 'Oh, I'm being thorough,' " Hellickson said.

Hellickson also says in the video that the doctor would often shower at the same time as the wrestlers, making them uncomfortable.

It's not known whether Hellickson passed on his concerns to his superiors. CNN has been unsuccessful in multiple attempts to obtain comment from Hellickson.

Strauss died in 2005. He was a physician for the school's sports teams from July 1981 to June 1995. CNN has not been able to reach members of Strauss' family.

The university announced in April that it is investigating allegations of sexual misconduct by Strauss. The school has hired a law firm, Perkins Coie, to look into the claims made by former male athletes on 14 sports teams.

More than 150 people have been interviewed during the investigation, which is ongoing, according to Perkins Coie.

Ohio State University officials are aware of the video and have seen it, according to Associate Vice President for University Communications Chris Davey. The school would not comment further.

Claims of sexual abuse

The video was produced in June by former OSU wrester Mike DiSabato's company Combat Athlete Coalition, he told CNN. The company represents the collective interests of former college athletes in matters of compensation and safety issues.

Besides showing Hellickson being interviewed, the video shows DiSabato and two other former OSU students saying Strauss sexually abused them.

DiSabato said the purpose of the video was to provide university officials with firsthand accounts of the alleged abuse, and not just the versions of victims' testimonies that would be relayed by investigators with Perkins Coie, the law firm.

DiSabato said the video was sent to the school and to Perkins Coie.

In the video, Hellickson says he confronted Strauss about taking showers with the student athletes, and told the doctor he was making the wrestlers nervous. The physician reportedly pointed out to the coach that Hellickson also showered with the team.

"I said, 'Yeah. Not for an hour, doc,' " the former coach says.

Hellickson indicates he spoke to officials about the team using a shared shower.

"Certainly, all of my administrators recognized that it was an issue for me," Hellickson says. "I'm sure that I talked to all of them on numerous occasions about my discontent with the environment."

It is unclear whether Hellickson is referring to people in the athletic department or school administrators. He said nothing ever changed.

Intrusive exams

The former coach and the former athletes appear separately in the video, which appears to have been edited.

DiSabato says it was a running joke that no matter what ailment a person asked Strauss to look at, the doctor would always examine his genitals.

One of the other two men, who CNN is not identifying, says on the video that the doctor went beyond the normal health-care practices. CNN has reached out to the two men for comment on the video but has not yet received replies.

He says he went in with heartburn and was told to lie on a table. The doctor eventually removed the man's pants, the man said.

"I'm like, what's going on? He goes, 'Oh I need to check for a few things down here,' " the man says. "And there I am with my pants down, going what the hell is going on?"

The other man says the doctor touched him inappropriately.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 13731

Reported Deaths: 652
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds89824
Lauderdale68056
Madison65321
Scott59210
Neshoba51431
Jones49215
Forrest48635
DeSoto4746
Leake38810
Holmes36923
Rankin3566
Jackson29613
Copiah2844
Attala27314
Monroe24624
Lincoln24520
Leflore24126
Harrison2376
Newton2273
Lamar2205
Yazoo2192
Pearl River20527
Pike20011
Adams18815
Noxubee1656
Lowndes1647
Warren1547
Washington1535
Jasper1453
Bolivar14111
Oktibbeha13910
Covington1311
Clarke13116
Smith13110
Kemper12710
Chickasaw12712
Wayne1250
Lafayette1243
Carroll11310
Marion1108
Lee1085
Coahoma1063
Clay993
Winston981
Lawrence941
Hancock8811
Itawamba857
Simpson850
Wilkinson849
Yalobusha845
Montgomery801
Sunflower793
Grenada752
Union725
Marshall713
Jefferson Davis712
Tippah7011
Panola622
Calhoun604
Tate591
Claiborne582
Humphreys537
Amite521
Walthall490
Perry492
Tunica483
Jefferson400
Prentiss393
Choctaw322
Stone300
Webster281
Pontotoc263
Franklin252
Tishomingo250
Quitman240
Tallahatchie241
George201
Benton150
Alcorn141
Greene71
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 15650

Reported Deaths: 580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2033111
Jefferson163091
Montgomery127433
Marshall6509
Tuscaloosa55812
Lee51032
Franklin4676
Shelby44719
Tallapoosa40063
Butler35912
Chambers33724
Madison3024
Baldwin2749
Elmore2707
Walker2391
Etowah23811
DeKalb2263
Dallas2063
Coffee2061
Lowndes19310
Sumter1936
Morgan1761
Houston1724
Autauga1683
Calhoun1463
Pike1450
Choctaw1444
Colbert1422
Marengo1416
Russell1370
Lauderdale1352
Bullock1333
Hale1324
Randolph1247
Wilcox1187
Marion11410
Barbour1131
Clarke1092
St. Clair1041
Pickens934
Greene914
Talladega912
Chilton871
Dale850
Cullman780
Limestone770
Jackson712
Winston670
Covington671
Washington655
Henry642
Macon622
Crenshaw602
Bibb591
Blount491
Lawrence430
Escambia433
Perry350
Geneva350
Coosa341
Monroe332
Cherokee332
Conecuh281
Clay272
Lamar200
Cleburne131
Fayette110
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
Columbus
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 71°
Oxford
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 70°
Starkville
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather