×

Abuse allegations, calls for state inquiry are only building around Michigan

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel addresses the media during a news conference on Thursday in Lansing. She said any investigation into alleged sexual assaults committed by the late Dr. Robert Anderson would require full cooperation by the University of Michigan and an appropriation by the Legislature to cover costs. (AP photo)

By LARRY LAGE,
DAVID EGGERT
and KATHLEEN FOODY
Associated Press
YPSILANTI — More men came forward Thursday with allegations of sexual abuse by a late doctor at the University of Michigan, as the state’s attorney general insisted that the school must commit to cooperating with her office before she would move to begin an independent investigation.
The new allegations include four men who filed lawsuits against the school saying that Dr. Robert Anderson sexually assaulted them while they were members of the football, hockey and wrestling teams in the 1980s. At a news conference, two others said Anderson molested them during medical exams.
The university, located in Ann Arbor, revealed last month that it was investigating multiple allegations of abuse against Anderson, who died in 2008 and was a native of L’Anse. Last week, it said it had received more than 100 complaints.
The lawsuits accuse the university of failing to remove Anderson despite multiple complaints about him. All identify the accusers only as John Doe.
Separately, two men spoke at a news conference in Ypsilanti to detail their own allegations.
JP DesCamp said said he saw Anderson for a physical required by his job as a pilot in 1973 and that the doctor had him lie on an exam table without underwear while he touched his genitals and rectum.
DesCamp said he left the office “feeling highly vulnerable and taken advantage of” but never discussed it with anyone. DesCamp said he later learned that co-workers refused to see Anderson because “word about Dr. Drop-your-drawers Anderson was out.”
Michael Connelley, a former student, said Anderson abused him “for years” during medical exams at the university’s Health Service.
The university’s president has apologized to “those who were harmed” by Anderson, and officials have acknowledged that some campus employees were aware of accusations against the doctor before a 2018 complaint that led to a police investigation.
Anderson worked at the university from 1966 until his retirement. His decades-long career included serving as director of the university’s Health Service and a physician for multiple athletic teams, including football. Campus police found that complaints spanned much of Anderson’s time at the school, up to 2002.
One of the men suing Thursday said he was a member of the football team from 1980 to 1985. Another man’s lawsuit identified him as an All State football player in high school who was a member of the Michigan team from 1981 through 1985. The third lawsuit was filed on behalf of a man who was on the hockey team from 1983 until 1984.
Their allegations mirror those in another recent lawsuit.
“In one illustrative example, plaintiff recalls being told to see Anderson when he had strep throat, and during this appointment, Anderson violated plaintiff with digital anal penetration and genital fondling,” a lawsuit said.