USC settles sex abuse lawsuit with gay and bisexual men

A settlement has been reached between the University of Southern California and former students, many of them gay and bisexual men, who claim they were victims of sexual misconduct by a university doctor. Photo: USC.

A settlement has been reached between USC and former students, many of them gay and bisexual men, who claim they were victims of sexual misconduct by a university doctor.

Kellogg & Van Aken LLP, the law firm representing the plaintiffs, announced the settlement on Thursday. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, and neither USC nor Dr. Dennis Kelly admitted to wrongdoing.

The company filed a lawsuit three years ago on behalf of six male USC graduates, all members of the LGBTQ+ community, who alleged that Kelly engaged in sexual misconduct and discriminatory behavior during their appointments with him at the Los Angeles-based school’s Student Health Center.

Another 74 people eventually filed a lawsuit over it. Only four of the plaintiffs identified as heterosexual, with the others being members of the queer community, including a transgender woman, attorney Mikayla Kellogg told the Los Angeles Times.

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The plaintiffs said Kelly’s misconduct centered on their sexual orientation (Kelly denied all charges). They claimed that when the doctor learned that they had had sex with men, he “asked a series of intrusive and lustful questions, such as how much porn they were consuming and whether they were ‘hookup’. “with sexual partners online,” reports the Times. They also said Kelly asked about their specific sexual practices and performed unnecessary rectal and genital exams on them, according to the court case filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Kellogg told The Times that the university had received complaints about Kelly during his two decades at the USC clinic, but continued to let him perform sensitive exams on students.

Kelly, who is gay, retired from USC in 2019 and relinquished his medical license in 2020. Upon surrendering his license, he did not cite the misconduct allegations, but told the Medical Board of California that he had a medical condition that interfered with his ability to practice medicine safely. security. He called the allegations against him “terribly hurtful” and said he had always acted in a professional manner, the Time reports.

“I am pleased that the complaints have been dismissed and this matter is behind me,” he said in a statement. NBC News. “I did nothing wrong.”

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But Kellogg, in his firm’s press release, said the settlement offered plaintiffs “a sense of recognition and validation for speaking up.” This “was achieved through the perseverance and courage of our clients who had the strength to come forward to share the heartbreaking details of their experiences at USC Student Health Center and the determination to hold USC accountable for its failure to protect his students,” she mentioned.

The secrecy of the settlement contrasts with the handling of claims against Dr. George Tyndall, who has been accused of sexually abusing numerous female patients at USC. Last year, the university announced settlements with its accusers amounted to more than $1 billion and issued statements of apology. Tyndall also faces criminal charges.

Asked by The Times why the Kelly settlement was kept confidential, a USC spokesperson declined to comment.

This article originally appeared on Advocate.comand is shared here as part of an LGBTQ+ community exchange between Q Voice News and Pride Media

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