USC reaches historic settlement with 80 men who say former school physician sexually abused them

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The University of Southern California has reached a settlement with 80 men who all say they were sexually abused by a former university physician.

"Dr. Kelly took advantage of me and his position," said Kenny Yoshida, an alleged victim. "He violated me. And if that weren't enough, he targeted me as a gay man."

Attorneys for Yoshida and 79 other alleged victims, all men, reached an undisclosed settlement with USC regarding claims of sexual misconduct by former USC men's physician Dennis Kelly.

"He subjected me to a grossly inappropriate rectal and genital exam," Yoshida said. "Nothing Dr. Kelly did that day felt medically warranted or abundantly cautious or kind. What he did was wrong. Dr. Kelly took advantage of me and his position. He violated me."

Attorneys for the alleged victims say the cases date back to the late 1990s and early 2000s - the latest case, they say, occurred in 2018.

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The exact nature of the allegations have not been specified, but reports say there are multiple instances being investigated.



Lawyers say it was a three-year litigation battle culminating in the settlement.

"Although the terms of the specific settlement are confidential, it is important to note that what happened to our clients is not, and the reason that we are here today is to share their story so that they are heard and not forgotten," attorney Mikayla Kellogg said.

Attorneys say even though USC has failed to admit any wrongdoing on the part of the former USC doctor, who relinquished his California medical license and left the university, the settlement provides alleged victims a sense of closure as it did for the victim's in another similar case involving the university.

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Attorneys representing hundreds of women who claim they were sexually abused by former USC campus gynecologist George Tyndall announced an $852 million "global settlement" of lawsuits against the university Thursday.



"This resolution also comes a year after the historic settlement was reached in state court cases against USC and former USC gynecologist George Tyndall and it really truly is in large part to the survivors and the journalists and the attorneys in that case, who exposed USC's failings which gave our clients the strength to come forward and share what happened to them," Kellogg said.

USC issued the following statement: "USC and the students who made allegations against Dr. Dennis Kelly have reached a global settlement of the lawsuits. USC's highest commitment is to the safety and health of all members of the Trojan community, including the current and former students involved in this matter. Settling the cases provides closure for all involved and avoids several more years of litigation."

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