The wrestling referee, identified as John Doe 42, who currently accuses Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) of ignoring a claim he made about a supposedly sexually inappropriate and timely advance he suffered from a sports doctor, seems to have changed his story with the years, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF).
The anonymous whistleblower—whose name could be Frederick Fenney, according to a source cited by the institution—said that the chief physician of the University of Ohio (OSU), Richard Strauss, masturbated in front of him in the showers while commenting on his penis in the 1990s.
After suffering the unpleasant episode, the assaulted person went to speak with Russ Hellickson, the OSU’s head wrestling coach, and his assistant, Jim Jordan, to whom he explained what happened.
“Yes, that is Strauss,” was the response, according to the statement of the former referee included in the lawsuit, who forgot to specify whether it was a comment made simultaneously or only by either.
John Doe 42 is the former referee Frederick Feeney?
A former OSU fighter, George Pardos, said John Doe 42 and former referee Frederick Feeney are the same person. The DCNF after reviewing the details of the lawsuit and biographies, the hidden publications on social networks and other evidence pointed out by Pardos, considered their claim to be consistent.
If so, in 2018, Feeney—contradicting what he claims today as John Doe 42—commented on social networks that he was not sure Jordan and Hellickson were aware of the allegations of sexual abuse he allegedly suffered from Strauss.
In that context, the DCNF contacted Feeney and asked him if he was John Doe 42, and he did not deny it. Instead, he simply asked for the name of the person who identified him as such, and refused to discuss the allegations.
On July 3, 2018, after NBC published a story alleging that Jordan and Hellickson turned a blind eye while Strauss allegedly abused the wrestlers he trained, he wrote, “Did Jordan refuse to do anything? Hell if I know,” according to Daily Caller.
Feeney added the next day, “Let’s hope this is true,” after another article appeared in which Jordan flatly denied the accusations and claimed that he would have taken action if he had known about the OSU doctor’s alleged behavior.
DCNF investigators revealed that in several relatively recent publications, which blocked the public, Feeney even insisted that he did not think Jordan was lying when he said he was unaware of the controversy surrounding the OSU athletic doctor, who would end up committing suicide in 2005.
From hero to villain
Feeney had a favorable opinion of Jordan, whom he went so far as to call “one of the good guys,” and even offered to serve as president of his congressional campaign.
But after Jordan became one of the most ardent supporters of President Donald J. Trump, everything changed.
NBC’s latest Nov. 9, 2019, report on the indictment against Jordan received great attention because it was published on the same day that Jordan (Ohio representative since 2007) was appointed to oversee the impeachment hearings against President Trump before the House Intelligence Committee.
MSNBC presenter Chris Hayes also promoted the accusation against Jordan on Nov. 11, highlighting the congressman’s value to House Republicans in the ongoing impeachment investigation.
Jordan denied the accusations by calling them “ridiculous” in an interview with Lima News, his city’s newspaper. “This is someone who makes a false statement,” he said.
“The story of this referee related to me doesn’t make sense. It never happened,” said coach Hellickson in a telephone interview with the DCNF and it claims to have ample evidence showing that Feeney is John Doe 42.
It should be noted that several wrestlers who initially claimed Jordan and Hellickson should have known about the controversy surrounding the doctor also changed their stories or were found to have made inconsistent statements, the Daily Caller reported.
Only one of the former fighters, Dunyasha Yetts, continues to claim that he spoke directly to Jordan about Strauss’s abuses, which the latter vehemently denied.
Jordan’s supporters questioned Yetts’s credibility because of his numerous legal issues—he served 18 months in prison in 2007 for a $1.5 million mail fraud. Another judge sentenced him back to 60 days in prison in January 2012 for violating the conditions of his probation.