The first of an anticipated 11 federal sexual abuse lawsuits have been filed against the University of Michigan, accusing the renowned university of responsibility for the actions of their now-deceased former athletic physician, Dr. Robert Anderson. According to the victims, who are all remaining anonymous in light of the extremely sensitive nature of the assaults that they suffered.
The first sexual assault claim was filed by a former school wrestler, while many of the others are former football players. One victim was a hockey player who went on to play in the NHL at the professional level. All of the victims claim that Anderson “sexually assaulted, abused and molested plaintiff by nonconsensual digital anal penetration and excessive genital fondling and manipulation under the guise of medical treatment.”
Hotline Receives More than 100 Calls Regarding University of Michigan Sexual Assault
While there are currently 20 so-called “Michigan men” that have come forward regarding the alleged sexual assaults, a hotline set up by the University quickly fielded over 100 calls. Victims say that most of them were student-athletes who had received athletic scholarships, and who were required to have examinations by Dr. Anderson. During those examinations, they claim that he acted like a sexual predator, and their representative says that “the University of Michigan foisted this sexual predator.”
The first sexual assault victim cites 35 separate occasions between 1984 and 1989 when he was between the ages of 17 and 22. He says that Anderson committed “70 total acts of nonconsensual anal penetration and genital fondling.” The physician was employed by the university for 35 years. Other accusers indicate that in addition to fondling them he also exposed himself during exams. Anderson died in 2008.
In addition to setting up the victim hotline, the University of Michigan’s president issued a statement of apology, while the university spokesperson said, “We recognize the enormous strength and courage it takes for survivors to come forward and share their stories. The university continues to encourage those who have been harmed by Robert E. Anderson or who have evidence of his misconduct, to come forward. It’s important that the University of Michigan hear your voices.”