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Number of Victims in USC Men’s Health Sex Scandal Jumps to 50 as 18 More Men Join Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Misconduct

Kellogg & Van Aken LLPMay 9, 2019

LOS ANGELES, May 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In another escalation in the widening scandal surrounding the University of Southern California (USC) and Dennis Kelly, a physician who treated student-patients, 18 more current and former students joined in a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and misconduct, bringing the total number of men who have come forward to 50. Two men publicly came forward for the first time to discuss their experiences.

“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, partner at Kellogg & Van Aken LLP, representing 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 Dr. Kelly on February 11th in the wake of news regarding George Tyndall’s abuse of female students at USC when several male USC graduates came forward with their own allegations regarding the men’s health physician at USC’s student health center. An amendment to the original complaint adding 15 additional plaintiffs was filed March 4th, while another law firm filed its own lawsuit on April 22nd with another 11 men alleging misconduct against USC and Dr. Kelly.

The complaints allege Dr. Kelly engaged in inappropriate sexual misconduct and discriminated against them based on their sexual orientation or gender.

At today’s press conference, one current and one former USC student came forward to 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 current PhD student, who discussed his encounter with Dr. Kelly.

Also speaking was 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.’ Dr. Kelly did not treat men he knew to be heterosexual or men who were not interested in men in a similar manner 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 which 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.”

“On the eve of USC commencement and a new USC president this summer, we hope the USC community rallies around these young men and stands with them in demanding the USC administration fix what is so badly broken at USC,” Kellogg added.

Kellogg & Van Aken

Kellogg & Van Aken is a civil litigation firm dedicated to seeking justice for tenants, individuals who have been harmed, and survivors of sexual abuse and assault.

Contact: James LeeThe Lee Strategy Group(424) 229-2753jlee@leestrategy.com

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