Just weeks after the scandal-plagued University of Southern California was rocked when four dozen gay and bisexual men came forward to sue former campus doctor Dennis Kelly for sexual abuse, the assault claims have spread to UCLA.
Kelly has been accused of fondling, verbally humiliating, and sexually assaulting under the guise of routine examinations 48 former USC students at the same campus health care center where gynecologist George Tyndall is accused of committing sex crimes against hundreds of female patients. Now, for the first time, a former student at Kelly’s previous post, UCLA, is claiming the attacks predate his USC tenure.
Quentin Lee, who entered UCLA as a graduate student in 1994, says that Kelly gave him two unnecessary and invasive rectal examines there, starting when he was about 23, and describing them as “the two most unpleasant medical experiences I’ve had.”
Lee says he was first examined by Kelly because he was suffering “cold or flu” symptoms in 1994, and that Kelly “insisted” on giving him a rectal exam. “I definitely thought it was strange,” Lee, now 48, says in an interview with USC’s student journalism program, the Beacon Project.
In 1996, Lee says he returned to the health center seeking any doctor but Kelly for treatment of another mundane health issue, but was told by a receptionist that no other physician was available. He was then pressured by Kelly, he claims, to succumb to another rectal exam.
“It was the ’90s, before #MeToo,” Lee says. “I was thinking that I was just alone.”
In a 2002 statement explaining why the university had let Kelly depart with an unexplained $68,320 settlement, UCLA brass said it had nothing to do with allegations of sex abuse, adding, “UCLA has very limited records, including no clinical complaints, from Dr. Dennis Kelly’s tenure at the UCLA student health center.”
Lee says he doesn’t intend to sue the college or Kelly, but that he just wants his story out there to support Kelly’s other alleged victims: “I just want him to be put to justice.”
Kelly maintains his innocence.
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