Update: 21 LGBTQ Students Sue USC, Sexual Health Physician

The students’ allegations against USC and the school’s physician include sexual battery, gender violence, sexual harassment, negligence and fraud.

Update: 21 LGBTQ Students Sue USC, Sexual Health Physician

Dr. Dennis A. Kelly denies all allegations, saying they were "terribly hurtful."

Over a dozen more former University of Southern California students have come forward alleging sexual misconduct by the university’s former sexual health physician.

Last month, six plaintiffs, claimed sexual battery, gender violence, sexual harassment, negligence and fraud against USC and Dr. Dennis A. Kelly, the only full-time men’s sexual health doctor during their time at the school.

As of this week, the number of plaintiffs is now at 21, according to an amended lawsuit, reports NBC Los Angeles.

This lawsuit comes just weeks after the school agreed to a $215 million settlement with the victims of former USC gynecologist, George Tyndall.

According to the suit, Kelly shamed and humiliated the plaintiffs for engaging in homosexual acts, questioned their sexual history and used “demeaning and derogatory” terms.

The suit alleges that Kelly demanded the men to disrobe and get on their hands and knees while he performed rectal exams.

One plaintiff said he complained about Kelly to another doctor about a rectal exam he experienced and the doctor responded that it “shouldn’t have happened.”

“Plaintiffs are informed and believed, and thereon allege, that Dr. Kelly was targeting the gay and bisexual and male student population, all of whom were young adults and many of whom were visiting the doctor without a parent for the first time,” the suit says.

Kelly, who retired last year after working at the school for nearly 20 years, has denied all of the allegations.

‘I can’t second-guess or question anything I’ve done,” the 72-year- old physician told the LA Times. “I know I did it all professionally and without any other motive.”

He says he is an openly gay physician and has devoted much of his career to counseling LGBTQ patients about ways to reduce the risks of their sexual behavior.

The men are seeking compensation from USC for negligent hiring and supervision.

A USC representative said the school is “aware of the lawsuit concerned by its allegations.”

“We’re working to understand the facts of this matter,” a statement from the school said. “We care deeply about our entire Trojan family, including our LGBTQ community and take this matter very seriously.”

This article was updated on 3/8/19

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About the Author


Katie Malafronte is Campus Safety's Web Editor. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. Katie has been CS's Web Editor since 2018.

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One response to “Update: 21 LGBTQ Students Sue USC, Sexual Health Physician”

  1. Fiwajomi says:

    People should stop coming forward at the mention of a settlement. It makes the whole incident a lie. Report right after, then it is meaningful.

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