Sick: University Allegedly Ignores Sexual Abuse Claims Against Doctor For Decades, Finally Apologizes
The president of the University of Michigan apologized Thursday to "anyone who was harmed" by a school doctor who has been accused by several former students of molesting them during medical exams, including one man who said the university did not respond when he reported the abuse decades ago.
One of those students, Gary Bailey, told The Associated Press that the late Dr. Robert E. Anderson dropped his pants and asked him to fondle his genitals in a medical exam during Bailey's senior year in 1968 or 1969. Bailey said he filled out a complaint form to the University Health Service within a month or so, writing that the behavior was “inappropriate."
“I never heard anything about it ever again,” said Bailey, now 72.
The university announced Wednesday that it had launched an investigation into Anderson's conduct after five former patients made abuse allegations. Officials have acknowledged that some university employees were aware of accusations against the doctor prior to a 2018 complaint that led to a police investigation.
University President Mark Schlissel opened a meeting of the school's Board of Regents Thursday by reading a prepared statement about Anderson, who died in 2008.
“The patient-physician relationship involves a solemn commitment and trust,” he said. “The allegations are highly disturbing. On behalf of the university, I apologize to anyone who was harmed by Dr. Anderson.”
Since the investigation began some 22 victims have come forward against the doctor. The doctor had unfettered access to general students as well as the football team. So, investigators are still looking for more victims.
“It was a traumatic thing at the time,” Bailey told the AP of his experience with Anderson. He said that, while the abuse has not “ruined my life or anything, it may have other people and that's why I'm bringing my story to light."
Bailey told Fox that he is a gay man and that the doctor preyed on gay men because he felt like they wouldn't tell anyone.
A prosecutor concluded that summer that no criminal charges would be authorized because the primary suspect had died and none of the offenses were within Michigan's six-year statute of limitations, Hiller said. Police sent a supplemental report in late summer or early fall, and the office reviewed that information before coming to the same conclusion in the fall, he said.
However, the students/victims could pursue a lawsuit against the University. No such lawsuit has been filed as of yet.
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