UM doctor accusers call for AG investigation, Nessel responds

Published: Mar. 5, 2020 at 7:08 PM EST
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(03/05/20) - Men who say a former University of Michigan physician sexually abused them, are calling on the powers that be to intervene decades later.

This is the second group of men to come forward publicly in as many weeks, mounting pressure on the powerhouse university.

Today they did so with Larry Nassar survivors by their side.

The attorneys of the victims called on Michigan's Board of Regents and Attorney General Dana Nessel to hold the university accountable.

"What happened in Ann Arbor was a horror story," said Robert Stone.

The horror for Stone unfolded in an exam room when he was a 20-year-old student at UM.

"Of serial sexual assaults conducted by Dr. Anderson," Stone continued.

Robert Anderson worked for the University of Michigan from 1968 until 2003 and died in 2008.

"I don't wish to go any further with graphic details but suffice it to say the continued probing, stimulation and painful testicular examination left me in a state of feeling highly vulnerable and taken advantage of," JP DesCamp said.

DesCamp found the strength to describe his pain for the first time because of Stone's bravery. Stone was the first to publicly speak out about the abuse to the press.

"He was the first one. I don't think I could've done what he did, but he did it and now I did it," DesCamp said.

DesCamp, who was not a U of M student, recalled a visit to Anderson in 1973 when he was 22 years old. He needed a physical for work – but explained 'things got weird' when Anderson had him lay on the exam table.

"We want you to know first and foremost that we believe you. We believe every one of you," said Nassar survivor Trinea Gonczar.

The men were surrounded by the support of five Nassar survivors, including attorney Sarah Klein, who called for Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate and for the board of regents to "make it right."

Nessel says at this time, her office is not launching anything official as they await the University of Michigan to make its own move.

Nessel says she's willing to do it, but two things have to happen first:

1. The AG's office would need a commitment from the University of Michigan to waive all privileges, so the investigation can be unbiased.

2. Resources and funding would need to be secured.

“I was extremely disappointed in what the attorney general had to say," Stone said. "There was a lot of excuse making. 'Well, we really don’t have the money you know and the university hasn’t invited us in,' and justice delayed is justice denied.”

For now the apology given by the university's president is not enough to sway Michael Connelly who says he was 18-years-old when the abuse started.

"I do not accept an apology from the University of Michigan because it's coming way too little, way too late," Connelly said.

Attorney John Manly of Manly Stewart & Finaldi, said he represents approximately 50 people who have now come forward with claims of sexual abuse against the late doctor.

Stone called Detective Mark West, with University of Michigan Police, the hero of this "horror story." He encouraged fellow survivors to call him to report their abuse. West can be reached at 734-764-7179.

The University of Michigan released this statement in response to our questions about Thursday's survivor press conference:

We share the same goal of gathering all the facts, including understanding the full scope of the harm caused by Dr. Robert E. Anderson and the institutional failings of the university.

We have committed to publicly share the independent firm's report.

For there to be a transparent reckoning of the full history, we again encourage all witnesses and former patients to come forward and share their stories.

The university is offering counseling services to anyone affected by Anderson. We are partnering with Praesidium, a national firm with extensive experience facilitating confidential and sensitive support services. No contact with the university will be required in order to access the services.