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Another doctor working at the University of Southern California student health center is accused of sexually abusing patients for decades without reprisal, this time involving dozens of male patients treated by Dr. Dennis Kelly.
According to a report published by Buzzfeed News, at least 48 former USC students and patients say Dr. Dennis Kelly sexually assaulted patients at the student health center over a period of two decades, including at least five of whom reported the behavior to the university.
In March, 21 young gay and bisexual men filed a complaint against Dr. Dennis A. Kelly and the University of Southern California (USC) in California court. However, Buzzfeed indicates that number of students now claiming they were sexually abused by Dr. Kelly at USC has increased to 48.
All of the reported victims were young gay or bisexual men. According to the reports, Kelly questioned them about their sexual activities, fondled their genitals or made them undergo humiliating and unnecessary rectal probes.
“Plaintiffs are informed and believe and theron allege that Dr. Kelly was targeting the gay and bisexual male student population – all of whom were young adults and many of whom were visiting the doctor without a parent for the first time – by subjecting them to intrusive and medically unnecessary ‘rectal examinations’,” the lawsuit states. “Dr. Kelly did not treat men he knew to be heterosexual or men who were not interested in men in a similar manner and did not penetrate their anuses or perform rectal examinations.”
Kelly left USC in July 2018, and maintains his innocence in the face of the allegations, indicating that he always acted appropriately. His resignation reportedly came after the college received several additional reports of inappropriate conduct in the wake of a major scandal involving hundreds of female students abused by a USC gynecologist at the same student health center.
In May 2018, it was disclosed that former gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall faced allegations of sexually abusing female USC patients for decades, leading to more than 300 sexual assault lawsuits filed against USC, including a number of class action claims brought to pursue damages on behalf of all students treated by the former gynecologist at the student health center.
USC President C. L. Max Nikias agreed to resign just days after he sent a letter to students and staff last year, announcing the results of an investigation into allegations that Tyndall engaged in inappropriate behavior with USC students while working as a gynecologist in the university health clinic.
Tyndall was allowed to retire in June 2017, and to date faces no criminal charges, despite dozens of claims that he assaulted female patients, and made both sexually suggestive and racist comments for years.
In February, the university agreed to settle the Tyndall lawsuits for $215 million.