Tag: Dr. Robert Anderson

Dr. Robert Anderson Horowitz Law

University of Michigan’s Dr. Robert Anderson Faces 100’s of Sexual Assault Allegations; School Hopes to Settle Without Litigation

In July 2018, police began an investigation into University of Michigan Health Service director and team physician, Dr. Robert E. Anderson, after a former student-athlete wrote to athletic director Warde Manuel about being repeatedly sexually abused by Anderson during medical exams in the early 1970s. The student was dismissed, kicked off his wrestling team and stripped of his financial aid when he tried to report Robert Anderson’s misconduct. 

“I spoke up by letter in July of 1975 and it was ignored and denigrated by the University of Michigan,” Tad Deluca, former University of Michigan wrestlers, told media. “I spoke up again by letter in 2018 after hearing an NPR story about the MSU gymnasts…”

The school says it is conducting an independent investigation into the claims, which date as far back as the 1960s. U-M admitted that some campus employees knew of allegations made against Anderson even before the 2018 complaint. The accused, known by students as ‘Dr. Drop Your Drawers’ Anderson, worked at U-M for more than three decades from 1968 until his retirement in 2003. He died in 2008. 

In February 2020, U-M established a hotline for students, and by the end of April, 257 additional complaints involving Anderson had been made.

In March 2020, U-M announced it was terminating the firm it hired to conduct the investigation after school officials learned that the firm also represented notorious accused sexual predators Roman Polanski and Jeffrey Epstein.

Police records also show that U-M officials were warned more than forty years ago that Anderson was fondling patients during medical exams, and pressured him to step down as Health Service director. According to detectives, dozens of people have described in detail Anderson’s alleged sexual misconduct and unnecessary medical exams. Most incidents occurred in the 1970s, but at least one which was reported, happened in the 1990s.

In March 2020, University of Michigan Board of Regents Chair Ron Weiser, one of the school’s highest-ranking elected officials said he was also abused by Anderson. Another regent said he heard from three family members who were also abused by Robert Anderson. 

In a news release, Ron Weiser and President Mark Schlissel said that U-M is creating a plan to bypass court in the hopes to settle lawsuits against Anderson as an effort to provide “more certain, faster relief” and to ensure the privacy of those victims who have come forward.  Such a fund would be an alternative to litigation and resolve cases in a faster, more efficient manner. 

In 2018, Michigan legislators passed an extension to the state’s archaic statute of limitations for child sexual abuse.  The new law raised the date by which a person must file a lawsuit to age 28, which is still far short of 52, the age that experts says is typically when victims of sexual abuse typically report their abuse.

The new law also created a 90 day window for anyone sexually abused by a medical professional to file a lawsuit against the responsible, a far shorter and more specific window than any passed anywhere else in the country.  No other window has been measured in ‘days’ instead of ‘years.’  The window is largely thought to have been included to pave the way for the filing of hundreds of claims by former USA Gymnastics team doctor and Michigan State University employee, Dr. Larry Nassar. Michigan State University ultimately settled 332 claims for $500 million.

However, the new law does absolutely nothing to help the hundreds of alleged victims of Dr. Robert Anderson, who were mostly young adults when they were sexually abused.  For those who were under 18 at the time of their abuse, the new law only really helps those who are still under age 28.  Therefore, while U-M is touting this alternative fund as a means of resolving cases faster and simpler than lawsuits, the reality is that very few cases would be viable in Michigan’s courts due to the still-archaic statute of limitations in effect for adult survivors of sexual abuse.  This needs to change.  Perhaps the resolution of hundreds more lawsuits involving a trusted doctor – this time, Dr. Robert Anderson – at a trusted Michigan university will spur even more legislative change.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested by Dr. Robert Anderson, or another trusted professional such as a principal, teacher or any other school employee, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation now.

The Big Business of College Athletics Makes it Ripe For Sexual Exploitation

These days, college sports are big business. But even years ago, the importance of sporting programs at universities is hard to overstate.

Both now and back then, failing to make a team or win a starting position could spell doom for a student, and hurt a student’s academic standing in the short run and hurting his or her earning potential in the long run, especially a student from a lower or middle income family.  This pressure on student athletes gives coaches and team doctors massive power, power that is tragically sometimes abused with devastating consequences.

Consider Shawn O’Brien, who gave massages to members of women’s basketball, tennis, softball and soccer teams at the University of Kansas at Lawrence. Last month, he was arrested by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and charged with ‘indecent liberties with a child’ after a girl accused him of touching her sexually seven or eight years ago under the guise of a “massage.”   He also reportedly had the audacity to tell the youngster that she shouldn’t tell anyone what happened because he said massages were “really expensive” and she was “lucky” to get one for free.

University Chancellor Doug Girard and Athletic Director Jeff Long said in a statement Thursday that they were “deeply troubled” by initial findings of an internal inquiry into O’Brien. They refused, however, to disclose which teams had contracts with O’Brien.
(Until recently, O’Brien was also listed as the owner of Kamehameha Massage.)

Or consider disgraced University of Michigan Dr. Robert Anderson, who was closely involved in the school’s athletic department for decades, including helping famed athletic director Don Canham cut costs by requiring annual physicals and teaming with legendary football coach Bo Schembechler to set up an important drug testing program.

Anderson’s sexual assaults were so well known among Michigan athletes, accusers have said, that he earned nicknames — “Dr. Drop Your Drawers” and “Dr. Glove.” He reportedly gave unnecessary rectal and testicular exams to students. He also allegedly traded sexual favors for letters to Vietnam-era draft boards establishing men as homosexual and thus make them eligible for a draft deferment.
(Ironically, the university hired a law firm, Steptoe and Johnson, that represented the late abusive financier Jeffrey Epstein and abusive director Roman Polanski.)

At least one student athlete, a former wrestler named Tad Deluca, came forward last month saying that he lost his scholarship and was thrown off the team after reporting that Dr. Anderson had abused him.

Then of course there are other, even more notorious child molesting coaches or trainers, including Jerry Sandusky of Penn State, Dr. Larry Nassar of USA Gymnastics and Dr. Richard Strauss of Ohio State University.

The list goes on and on.

And the result of these awful men and the schools that hired and protected them? Hundreds or thousands of innocent, ambitious, talented and disciplined young people whose promising futures were suddenly and severely shattered by selfish, sick doctors and coaches.
But as the links here show, just like courageous victims in churches and scouting programs have done, courageous college and high school athletes are demanding justice, prevention and the truth. We admire them, wish them well and stand ready to help.