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Number of Victims Alleging Sexual Misconduct by Men’s Health Physician at USC Triples as More Plaintiffs Join Lawsuit

1003 Days ago

LOS ANGELES, March 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The number of plaintiffs participating in a new lawsuit against the University of Southern California (USC) and Dr. Dennis Kelly, a physician who treated student-patients, in a widening men’s health scandal alleging sexual misconduct tripled as 15 additional students and alumni came forward to join the action.

“The response we have received from men who sought treatment at the USC Student Health Center only to be subjected to inappropriate sexual misconduct by Dr. Kelly has been alarming in terms of the number of men who have found the courage to come forward and tell their story,” said Kelly Van Aken, partner at Kellogg & Van Aken LLP, representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “These additional new plaintiffs likely represent only a fraction of the individuals who were subjected to misconduct not only by Dr. Kelly, but also by a university culture that stymied LGBTQ students from coming forward with their concerns and allegations.”

Kellogg & Van Aken LLP filed the original civil lawsuit against USC and Dr. Kelly on February 11th after news regarding Dr. George Tyndall’s abuse of female students at USC prompted several male USC graduates to come forward with their own allegations regarding the men’s health physician at USC’s student health center.

With today’s filing, there are now a total of 21 current and former USC students who are participating as plaintiffs. The complaint alleges Dr. Kelly engaged in inappropriate sexual misconduct and discriminated against them based on their sexual orientation and gender. The complaint specifies that:

“Dr. Kelly’s conduct included, but was not limited to: shaming, humiliating, and judging Plaintiffs for engaging in sexual acts with men; questioning Plaintiffs’ sexual history using demeaning and derogatory terms” and “demanding Plaintiffs remove their pants and underwear in front of Dr. Kelly while he refused to leave the room or provide Plaintiffs with privacy.”

Van Aken noted that Dr. Kelly resigned from USC’s student health center only in August 2018. USC has so far not responded to requests for information on student complaints previously lodged against Dr. Kelly or his employment history.

The amended complaint follows a demonstration on February 21, 2019 on the USC campus by students demanding action by university leaders to respond to the allegations and take definitive action to ensure the safety and security of those accessing student health services.

“We call on USC to come forward with the truth about what they knew and when they knew it. We further call on them to conduct a thorough and independent investigation of these serious allegations and USC’s failure to protect its students,” Van Aken added.

“Students put their trust in USC to provide them with safe and appropriate medical care. LGBTQ students are an especially vulnerable population on college campuses. Many of the gay and bisexual men who saw Dr. Kelly were inexperienced with sexual health visits and some were seeing a doctor without a parent present for the first time,” said Mikayla Kellogg, partner at Kellogg and Van Aken.

“We allege that Dr. Kelly took advantage of their vulnerability and inexperience to discriminate against gay and bisexual men and to satisfy his own sexual interests. Despite complaints made to staff at USC, USC continued to retain Dr. Dennis Kelly as the only men’s health specialist at its student health center,” Kellogg added.

For more information on Kellogg & Van Aken, please go to www.kva-law.com .

Contact: James Lee
The Lee Strategy Group
(424) 229-2753

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