The University of Southern California has been dealing with a major sex abuse lawsuit involving a former campus doctor and over four dozen men. Now, it is being reported that abuse may have also happened at UCLA.
Earlier this year, former USC campus doctor Dennis Kelly was accused of sexual battery, gender violence, sexual harassment, negligence, and fraud by a small group of former USC students, all of whom happen to be gay or bisexual men.
Over time, the number of accusers grew from one dozen to two dozen to thee dozens to, now, 48 former USC students.
The accusations made against 72-year-old Kelly included “shaming and humiliating” the men for engaging in sexual acts with other men, using “demeaning and derogatory” language towards them, and asking inappropriate and invasive questions about their sex habits, including if they watched “internet porn” or if they hooked up with guys they met online.
But perhaps the most shocking allegation is that Kelly subjected the young men to “intrusive and medically unnecessary rectal examinations” which he did not perform “on heterosexual men who had similar sexual practices.”
At least five of the men say they reported the abuse to the university but nothing was ever done about it.
Of the five men who said they’ve complained to USC about Kelly, three said they’ve never heard back. One man said a USC official told him the incident occurred too long ago to determine what had happened. Another man said the university didn’t respond to his complaint for more than a year — until this February, after the first lawsuit was filed against Kelly and USC. Only then, he said, did the university reach out and acknowledge his complaint.
Now, for the first time, a former UCLA student has come forward to allege he, too, was abused by Kelly prior to the doctor transferring to USC’s clinic in 2002.
LA Mag reports:
Quentin Lee, who entered UCLA as a graduate student in 1994, says that Kelly gave him two unnecessary and invasive rectal examines there, starting when he was about 23, and describing them as “the two most unpleasant medical experiences I’ve had.”
Lee says he was first examined by Kelly because he was suffering “cold or flu” symptoms in 1994, and that Kelly “insisted” on giving him a rectal exam. “I definitely thought it was strange,” Lee, now 48, says in an interview with USC’s student journalism program, the Beacon Project.
In 1996, Lee says he returned to the health center seeking any doctor but Kelly for treatment of another mundane health issue, but was told by a receptionist that no other physician was available. He was then pressured by Kelly, he claims, to succumb to another rectal exam.
“It was the ’90s, before #MeToo,” Lee says. “I was thinking that I was just alone.”
According to the school, “UCLA has very limited records, including no clinical complaints, from Dr. Dennis Kelly’s tenure at the UCLA student health center.”
Lee says he doesn’t plan to sue college or Kelly for the alleged abuse, but he wanted to share his story and voice his support for Kelly’s other alleged victims.
“I just want him to be put to justice,” he says.
Meanwhile, Kelly, who retired last year, told the Los Angeles Times in February that he was totally blindsided by the claims being made against him, calling the whole thing “terribly hurtful.”
“I can’t second-guess or question anything I’ve done,” he says. “I know I did it all professionally and without any other motive.”
When approached by Buzzfeed for comment last week, Kelly declined to speak other than to say,” This is all very traumatic to me.”