A half-dozen gay and bisexual men are suing USC and a physician, alleging he discriminated against and battered them while serving as the only full-time men’s sexual health doctor at the Student Health Center.
The plaintiffs are former USC students identified only as John Does in the Los Angeles Superior Court complaint filed Monday against the university and Dr. Dennis A. Kelly.
The suit’s allegations include sexual battery, gender violence, sexual harassment, negligence and fraud.
A USC representative released a statement saying the university is “aware of the lawsuit and are concerned by its allegations.”
“We’re working to understand the facts of this matter,” the statement reads. “We care deeply about our entire Trojan family, including our LGBTQ community and take this matter very seriously. We will provide more information as it’s available.”
The suit alleges Kelly shamed and humiliated the plaintiffs for engaging in sexual acts with men, questioning their sexual history and using “demeaning and derogatory” terms.
“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.
The plaintiffs allege they were subjected to “intrusive and medically unnecessary rectal examinations.”
“Dr. Kelly did not treat heterosexual men in a similar manner and did not … perform rectal examinations on heterosexual men who had similar sexual practices,” the suit alleges.
One plaintiff, who was born in 1989 and was a USC undergraduate student from 2009-11, was told by Kelly that his sexual practices “put him at high risk for diseases,” the suit states. Kelly also asked the plaintiff if he “watched Internet porn” or if he “hooked up” with people online, according to the complaint.
Another plaintiff, who was born in 1992 and attended undergraduate classes from 2010-14, alleges that Kelly asked him whether he used sex toys and condoms.
Kelly refused to give the plaintiff a robe while he was undressing and was told by the doctor that it was “just us” and that Kelly was “going to see it anyway,” the suit states.