A USC student and a former USC student Thursday are scheduled to publicly discuss alleged sexual misconduct by USC men’s health doctor Dennis Kelly, who is accused of targeting gay men.
The two will speak at 10:30 a.m. at a news conference organized by their attorney, who said in a statement Thursday morning that 18 more men have joined the suit, bringing the number of plaintiffs to 50.
“With today’s announcement, the number of plaintiffs has quickly grown to 50 young men who allege they suffered abuse at the hands of Dennis Kelly and an indifferent USC administration,” said Kelly Van Aken, a partner at Kellogg & Van Aken LLP, who represents the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “Thanks to the efforts of the news media and LGBTQ community, we are seeing more and more men bravely come forward to tell their stories.”
Kellogg & Van Aken LLP filed the original civil lawsuit against USC and Kelly on Feb. 11, when several male USC graduates came forward with their own allegations regarding the men’s health physician at USC’s student health center following news of George Tyndall’s alleged abuse of female students at USC.
An amendment to the original complaint adding 15 additional plaintiffs was filed March 4, while another law firm filed its own lawsuit on April 22 with another 11 men alleging misconduct against USC and Dr. Kelly.
The complaints allege Kelly engaged in inappropriate sexual misconduct and discriminated against patients based on their sexual orientation or gender.
At Thursday’s news conference, one current and one former USC student will publicly discuss their encounters with Kelly for the first time.
“From the very first interaction with Dennis Kelly, I was quite uncomfortable because of his invasively sexual questions and the creepy smile he had on his face throughout the conversations. His questions ranged from my sexual practices all the way to the ethnicity, age, and appearance of my partner at the time. As an international student, I was already uneasy talking about my sexual life, while I didn’t know what is and what is not OK for a doctor to do and ask,” said Ali Jalal-Kamali, a PhD student, about his encounter with Kelly.
Also scheduled to speak is John Keyse, a USC graduate who was active in campus LGBTQ organizations.
“Today, I know that Dr. Kelly performed my rectal exam in a medically unnecessary way that seemed designed to maximize my embarrassment and discomfort. As we now know, USC not only failed its male students with Dr. Kelly, but also its female students with Dr. Tyndall. By speaking out today, my goal is to ensure that as USC is reforming its student healthcare system, we end up with a system that is not just acceptable, but that is a national model for what a student healthcare system can be,” Keyse said.
The new complaint specifies that:
“Dr. Kelly was targeting the gay and bisexual male student population, all of whom were young adults and some of whom were visiting the doctor without a parent for the first time, by subjecting them to intrusive and medically unnecessary rectal examinations,” Van Aken said. “Kelly did not treat men he knew to be heterosexual or men who were not interested in men … and did not penetrate their anuses or perform rectal examinations.”
Mikayla Kellogg, partner at Kellogg & Van Aken LLP, also blasted USC for opposing California Assembly Bill 1510, legislation which would allow student survivors of sexual assault one year to bring claims that would otherwise be barred by California*s statute of limitations.
“It is outrageous USC is the lone opponent of AB1510,” Kellogg said. “What is even more appalling is USC’s brazen willingness to disregard the well-being of its own students by hiring a powerful San Francisco lobbying firm to try and kill this bill that is supported by a broad coalition of consumer advocacy groups, women’s groups, and civil rights organizations.”
There was no immediate comment from USC.
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