USC Ignored Complaints About School Doctor’s Sexual Misconduct and Unnecessary Rectal Exams on Gay Male Students: Lawsuit

An amended lawsuit, which more than 20 men have now joined, alleges that the University of Southern California’s only men’s health physician “performed unnecessary rectal exams and made inappropriate and humiliating remarks to them for engaging in sexual acts with other men,” ABC7 reports.

A lawyer for the men said Dr. Dennis Kelly told them to “climb onto an examination table with their bare buttocks in the air and then anally penetrated them which he insisted was a necessary part of their examinations.” One of the plaintiffs in the suit said that Kelly asked him whether he had unprotected anal sex and then told him it was “dirty” after he responded in the affirmative, making him feel “shamed and humiliated.”

The lawsuit alleges that USC ignored the complaints: “Despite receiving repeated complaints regarding Dr. Kelly’s misconduct, USC actively and deliberately failed to investigate, discipline, or address Dr. Kelly’s sexually abusive and discriminatory behavior and instead, continued to employ Dr. Kelly for years, allowing him unencumbered access to sexually abuse, harass, and discriminate against Plaintiffs and other male gay and bisexual USC students in his care.”

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LGBTI alumni accuse gay university doctor of sexual abuse

A doctor with their hand on a man's back

Six male graduates are accusing a former doctor at the University of Southern California (USC) of sexual abuse.

The graduates, who all identify as gay or bisexual, filed a  lawsuit this week, formally accusing Dr. Dennis Kelly of sexual battery and harassment during medical appointments.

As first reported by the Los Angeles Times, the suit alleges Kelly ‘made demeaning remarks… about their sexual practices and performed unnecessary rectal exams designed to embarrass them or “to satisfy his own prurient sexual desires.”‘

It further states Kelly, upon learing his patients had sex with other men, asked them questions about pornography consumption and sexual hookups.

He also allegedly told them to undress, watching them as they did so, and get on their hands and knees.

One plaintiff, 26, said he felt Kelly suddenly ‘insert something for about 30 seconds’ without any warning.

The men filed the suit anonymously. They are now seeking compensation for ‘negligent hiring and supervision’.

As students, they did not file a formal complaint with USC or contact the police. One of the plaintiffs, however, did say he told another doctor who reportedly said the rectal exam ‘shouldn’t have happened’.

Denial of wrongdoing

Kelly, 72, retired last year. He’s openly gay and said throughout his career he devoted himself to helping LGBTI patients.

In a phone interview with the LA Times, he denied all wrongdoing and called the allegations ‘terribly hurftul’.

‘I can’t second-guess or question anything I’ve done,’ he further said. ‘I know I did it all professionally and without any other motive.’

Directly addressing the accusations, Kelly said he either turned away or left the room while patients undressed. He also said it was standard practice to ‘perform a rectal swab while also inspecting for anal warts’.

The second lawsuit

This lawsuit follows a second lawsuit that accused a USC gynecologist of sexual abuse. The university is now reportedly moving forward with a $215-million-class-action settlement in that case.

A spokesperson for USC released a statement to the LA Times about the case against Kelly:

‘We’re working to understand the facts of this matter. We care deeply about our entire Trojan family, including our LGBTQ-plus community, and take this matter very seriously.’

GSN contacted USC for further comment.

See also

Gay Men’s Chorus of LA leader steps down after claims of sexual misconduct

School gay-straight alliances make straight kids feel safer, research says

Rami Malek says working with Brian Singer was not ‘pleasant’ for him

Author: Anya Crittenton

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