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48 gay and bisexual students say university doctor sexually abused them

Lily Wakefield August 8, 2019
University of Southern California

The University of Southern California. (USC/ Facebook)

48 gay and bisexual men who are former students of the University of Southern California (USC) have alleged that a university doctor sexually abused them, and that the assaults spanned more than two decades.

According to a report by Buzzfeed, at least five men say they reported Dr. Dennis Kelly, who worked in the health centre, to the university.

Three said they never heard back, one alleges that a USC official said “the incident occurred too long ago to determine what had happened,” and another said the university waited more than a year to respond to him, and only did so after the first lawsuit against Kelly had been filed.

50 former patients are now suing the doctor and USC, but Kelly maintains that he is innocent, and told the Los Angeles Times: “I know I did it all professionally and without any other motive.”

The former students, who were mostly either in their late teens or early twenties, say that Kelly’s alleged abuse included “fondling their genitals or making them kneel naked on the exam table for rectal probes.”

One student said he recalled Kelly inserting a metal instrument into his anus without warning, then whispered to him: “How often do you let your partner cum in you?”

“And after that, it’s a blackout,” the student told Buzzfeed. “I don’t even remember leaving his office; I don’t remember how I got home. I was just shocked by how creepy it was, the whole situation.”

University of Southern California
Other scandals about the university have also come out in recent years. (USC/ Facebook)

The men said Kelly asked them questions about porn, dating apps and the race of their partners

The men said Kelly, who was openly gay, would ask them inappropriate questions which seemed to have no medical significance, like which dating apps they used, whether they watched porn or the race of their partners.

Five of the men stated in court documents that they cried during or after their exams with Kelly, and 13 said they avoided the health centre afterwards.

Until the story was reported by Buzzfeed, the only statement USC had made about Kelly was: “We are aware of the lawsuit and are concerned by its allegations. We’re working to understand the facts of this matter. We care deeply about our entire Trojan family, including our LGBTQ+ community, and take this matter very seriously. We will provide more information as it’s available.”

After the story it said: “The university is committed to providing all patients, students, faculty and staff with a culture of respect and support.”

Other scandals about USC have come out in recent years, including a university gynaecologist who was charged with sexually assaulting 16 women at the student health centre and parents bribing the university to have their children study there.

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