University Of Southern California Settles Sex Abuse Lawsuit Involving 80 Men

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Bryan Babb Contributor
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The University of Southern California (USC) reached a settlement agreement Thursday with 80 men who filed lawsuits against the school after allegedly being sexually abused by a former campus doctor.

The lawsuit, filed in February 2019, alleges that former campus doctor Dennis Kelly engaged in “inappropriate sexual misconduct” with 6 LGBTQ students who came in for appointments at the campus health center, according to Kellogg & Van Aken LLP, the law firm representing these students. After the initial filing, 74 more students came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct by Kelly, and Kellogg & Van Aken represented 57 of the plaintiffs. (RELATED: University Agrees To Pay $1.1 Billion In Settlements For Hundreds Of Students Sexually Abused By Campus Gynecologist)

The lawsuit further alleges that USC did not adequately handle complaints brought against Kelly and allowed him to continue to work with students. Kelly maintained his position as a campus physician from 1997 to 2018.

“He subjected me to a grossly inappropriate rectal and genital exam,” said alleged victim Kenny Yoshida, according to ABC7 News. “Nothing Dr. Kelly did that day felt medically warranted or abundantly cautious or kind. What he did was wrong. Dr. Kelly took advantage of me and his position. He violated me.”

“The settlement was achieved through the persistence and bravery of our clients who had the strength to come forward to share the harrowing details of their experiences at the USC Student Health Center and the determination to hold USC accountable for its failure to protect its students,” said attorney Mikayla Kellogg according to ABC7. “The settlement today is another step toward closure for our clients who finally feel a sense of recognition and validation for speaking up.”

Kellogg & Van Aken LLP has stated that “the exact terms of the settlement will remain confidential.”

Of Kelly’s alleged victims that have come forward, 76 identify as LGBTQ, according to NPR. Kelly was fired from the university after the initial 6 graduates made the allegations of sexual misconduct in 2018.