DETROIT (AP) — A man who was a college wrestler in the 1980s sued the University of Michigan on Wednesday, alleging that a school doctor molested him dozens of times despite the university knowing that he was a threat to athletes.
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Detroit is the first since victims of late Dr. Robert E. Anderson began to emerge a few weeks ago. The man, identified only as John Doe, accused the university of failing to remove the doctor despite complaints about him.READ MORE: Michigan Environment Department Issues Violation Notices To Tribar In Huron River Chemical Release
Doe said he was a student from 1984 to 1989. Anderson was a team physician for various sports at the University of Michigan from 1966 until his retirement in 2003. He died in 2008.
“One illustrative incident is when plaintiff scratched his arm while wrestling on the mat during a summer training session, and he was told by leadership to see Anderson about the bleeding,” the lawsuit states.
“During his appointment for his arm, Anderson told plaintiff to drop his pants, and Anderson sexually assaulted, abused and molested” him, according to the lawsuit.
A university spokeswoman said the school couldn’t comment “other than to deeply apologize for the harm caused by Robert E. Anderson.”
“We recognize the enormous strength and courage it takes for survivors to come forward and share their stories, university spokeswoman Kim Broekhuizen said.
The university has acknowledged that some campus employees were aware of accusations against the doctor prior to a 2018 complaint that led to a police investigation. The school announced last week that it had received more than 100 complaints about Anderson.READ MORE: Community Responds After More Drownings Happen In South Haven
“The university continues to encourage those who have been harmed by Robert E. Anderson, or who have evidence of his misconduct, to come forward,” Broekhuizen said.
Doe’s lawsuit accuses the university of violating his rights under federal education law and failing to supervise the doctor.
Doe said he entered college as a 17-year-old from a large, blue-collar family.
He said Anderson’s treatments made him uncomfortable but that he was trained through wrestling “to do as he was ordered by those in positions in authority.”
Meanwhile, a law firm representing more than 40 people who say they, too, were victims planned to speak Wednesday night in suburban Detroit. Three men plan to speak publicly Thursday, joined by women who were assaulted by Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar.
Nassar is serving decades in prison. John Manly, a lawyer who represented many Nassar victims, said the attorney general’s office should investigate what the University of Michigan knew about Anderson, who worked there for decades.
“It needs to happen now,” Manly said.MORE NEWS: Dive Team Recovers Body Of Drowning Victim From Lake St. Clair
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