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.
Update 13 February, 3:38 PM: USC released the same statement to GSN, but they would ‘provide more information as it’s available’.