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USC Doctor Accused of Sexually Abusing 48 Male Patients

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  • A former University of Southern California student health doctor is facing a lawsuit from 48 of his male patients who are accusing him of sexual abuse, battery, and harassment.
  • The patients, who are all gay or bisexual, claim Dr. Dennis Kelly made disparaging remarks about their sexual activity, repeatedly asked invasive questions, and inappropriately touched them without warning for extended periods of time. 
  • The students are also suing USC for inaction after at least five students filed complaints against Kelly.

Doctor and USC Sued

A group of 48 former University of Southern California students have lodged a lawsuit against a former doctor at the university’s Student Health Center, each citing similar reports of sexual abuse and harassment by the doctor.

The male patients accused Dr. Dennis Kelly of using medical exams to sexually abuse patients for more than 20 years, according to an investigative report by the Beacon Project.

The allegations cite multiple instances where Kelly inappropriately fondled the students for a prolonged period of time, asked them sexually inappropriate questions, or forsook medical terminology to use explicit language. All of the men identify as gay or bisexual, and Kelly is openly gay.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times earlier this year, Kelly denied the accusations.

“I can’t second-guess or question anything I’ve done,” Kelly said to the outlet. “I know I did it all professionally and without any other motive.”

Several of the men have said Kelly’s alleged actions caused significant emotional distress, including one report of a student who said he gained 70 pounds and his GPA suffered over a two year period. More than a dozen others said they avoided seeking services at the USC Student Health Center.

In addition to Kelly, the students are also suing USC for allowing the conduct to continue after at least five filed complaints against the doctor. Those men said they directly complained to USC about their interactions with Kelly, but only two of those men heard back ⁠— one more than a year later and after the suit was filed. The other man claimed an official said the incident was too old to determine what happened. 

On Feb. 12, six of the now 48 students filed the lawsuit, and on the same day, USC issued a statement regarding the situation.

“We are aware of the lawsuit and are concerned by its allegations,” the statement reads. “We’re working to understand the facts of the matter. We care deeply about our entire Trojan family, including our LGBTQ+ community, and take this matter very seriously. We will provide more information as it’s available.”

Examples Cited in the Suit

Editor’s note: This section contains graphic accounts from a lawsuit that details accusations of sexual battery, gender violence, sexual abuse and discrimination, and sexual harassment by Kelly’s former patients. If you would like to avoid reading such descriptions, please skip to the next section.

In one example from the lawsuit against Kelly, a former patient said that after Kelly instructed him to remove his pants and underwear, he asked the patient to stand on his hands and knees on the examination table without medical modesty covering. Kelly then, without warning, allegedly inserted an unknown rectal probe, asking the patient, “How often do you let your partner cum in you?”

Eight of the men said they were subjected to multiple appointments and some had to undergo multiple rectal examinations while trying to receive a prescription for the HIV-preventative drug PrEP.

Another former patient alleges Kelly fondled his genitalia for a prolonged amount of time without ever stating his reasoning for the examination. A total of at least 22 other men provided similar statements in the suit.

Many of the men claimed Kelly did not turn around or leave the room when he asked them to remove their clothing, though Kelly denied those accusations in an interview with the LA Times.

The men also said Kelly shamed them for their sexual practices by making statements such as “using Grindr is risky as a practice” because “Grindr is the new bathhouses.” To one student, he called the app “disgusting” and part of a “disappointing gay culture.”

Kelly reportedly used lewd language during the sexual history portion of his exams, asking students, “Are you eating ass?” or “sucking dick.” Instead of using medical terms to describe certain body parts, the suit alleges he would say words like “pussy” and “asshole.”

One man said Kelly directly asked him the names of his partners after inquiring about their races and whether the student was attracted to older men or “twinks.”

Kelly’s History at Universities

UCLA first hired Kelly in 1980, and a decade later, he worked for the university’s Student Health Center practicing men’s health. 

In 1997, Kelly first began practicing at USC as a part-time physician; however, in 2002, Kelly left UCLA after reaching an agreement in an unknown settlement, where he received a lump sum payout of $68,320. UCLA said the settlement was in relation to “conditions [Kelly] claimed he was experiencing in the workplace.” A year prior, Kelly sued the university for preferentially targeting him because of his union activities.

Later in 2002, Kelly was promoted to a full-time physician at USC and was hired to Cal State Northridge as a part-time student health physician.

Accusations of Kelly’s mistreatment toward his patients stretch back to USC’s 1999-2000 academic year and stretch to a final complaint on July 24, 2018. On July 25, 2018, Kelly left office.

In August 2018, Kelly resigned from USC of his own accord and without severance. At the same time, Kelly continued practicing at Cal State Northridge.

Six students jointly filed their lawsuit in February, and after its filing, Cal State Northridge placed Kelly on a paid administrative leave of six hours per week. 

Kelly has never been openly accused of any sex crimes at either UCLA or Cal State Northridge. 

See what others are saying: (Buzzfeed News) (LA Magazine) (LAist)

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After Uvalde, Politicians, Public Figures, Gun Violence Survivors, and More Call For Change

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“When are we going to do something?” Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr asked during an emotional plea at a press conference. 


Uvalde Shooting Kills 21 People

Democratic politicians, activists, and many others are calling for gun reform in the United States after 19 children and two teachers were killed in a Tuesday shooting at Robb Hill Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

The 18-year-old suspected gunman was reportedly killed by officers. The massacre marks the 27th school shooting of 2022, according to Education Week.

It also comes just a week and a half after 10 people were killed in a shooting in Buffalo, New York, and another shooting in a Southern California church left one person dead and several others injured.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Ct.) spoke fervently on the Senate floor Tuesday, slamming his colleagues for refusing to pass gun control legislation that could prevent future shootings. 

“What are we doing?” he asked of his fellow lawmakers. “Why do you spend all this time running for the United States Senate? Why do you through all the hassle of getting this job, of putting yourself in a position of authority, if your answer is, as the slaughter increases, as kids run for their lives, we do nothing? What are we doing? 

“Why are you here if not to solve a problem as existential as this?” he continued. “This isn’t inevitable. These kids weren’t unlucky. This only happens in this country.” 

“And it is a choice. It is our choice.”

President Joe Biden likewise urged action by supporting the now-expired assault weapons ban.

“We can do more. We must do more,” he added.

Public Figures And Shooting Survivors Speak Out

The demands for change spread far past political figures. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr took time out of a pre-game press conference to passionately plead for common-sense gun control. He specifically called on Senators to vote on H.R. 8, a background check bill previously passed in the House.

“When are we going to do something?” Kerr asked while slamming his hands on the table.  

“I ask you, Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings. I ask you: Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers?” Kerr continued. “Because that’s what it looks like.” 

He went on to say that Americans, who largely support background checks, are “being held hostage by 50 Senators who refuse to even put it to a vote.” 

Grammy Award-winning musician Taylor Swift shared his message, adding that she is filled with “rage and grief” not just from the shootings, but by “the ways in which we, as a nation, have become conditioned to unfathomable and unbearable heartbreak.”

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” tweeted David Hogg, an activist and survivor of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida. “The way we will make this time different is by Americans on both sides of the aisle collaborating on what we can agree on to get something done even if small. Kids are dying we have to do something.”

Manuel Oliver, the father of one of the children lost in the Parkland shooting, slammed the inaction of politicians in an interview on CBS News

“The families don’t need your freaking hearts,” Oliver said. “They need their kids, and the kids are not there anymore. So I feel very angry and offended and I just don’t understand how come a whole society doesn’t wake up.” 

People impacted by the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting also spoke out, including Mary Ann Jacob, who worked as a librarian at the school during the shooting.

“I’m so sorry those deaths did not change our world,” Jacob wrote. 

Texas-based figures felt especially compelled to stand up as the tragedy hit so close to home. Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, whose hometown is Uvalde, wrote a message on social media asking Americans to “take a longer and deeper look in the mirror and ask ourselves, ‘What is it that we truly value?’”

“We have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us,” McConaughey wrote. 

“Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others before them have endured.”

Fellow Texas native Selena Gomez also took to social media to argue for action.

“If children aren’t safe at school where are they safe? It’s so frustrating and I’m not sure what to say anymore,” the “Only Murders in the Building” star wrote on her Instagram story. “Those in power need to stop giving lip service and actually change the laws to prevent these shootings in the future.”

We make it a point to not include the names and pictures of those who may have been seeking attention or infamy and will not link out to websites that might contain such information.

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Lawmakers Call For Action as Oil Companies Post Record Profits Amid Rising Gas Prices

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A recent analysis from the Center for American Progress found that the top five oil companies earned over 300% more in profits during the first quarter of 2022 than the same period last year.


As Consumer Prices Climb, Big Oil Profits

American oil companies are facing increased scrutiny over profiteering practices as gas prices continue to surpass record highs driven by Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

Last week, costs surged to above $4 per gallon in all 50 states for the first time ever, according to the auto club AAA. Prices are currently averaging over $4.59 per gallon nationwide, which is 50% higher than they were this time last year.

In addition to consumers hurting at the pump, there are also rising concerns for industries that rely on fuel and oil like trucking, freight, airlines, and plastic manufacturers. 

To account for high prices, some in sectors have responded by ramping up prices further down the supply chain to account for costs, putting even more of a burden on consumers to pay for everyday items.

But as Americans struggle with sky-high gas prices at a time of record inflation, recently released earnings reports show that many of the world’s largest oil companies thrived in the first quarter of 2022.

ExxonMobil more than doubled its earnings from the same period last year, reporting a net profit of $5.5 billion. Meanwhile, Chevron logged its best quarterly earnings in almost a decade, and Shell had its highest earnings ever.

According to a new analysis conducted by the Center for American Progress, the top five oil companies — including the three mentioned above —  earned over 300% more in profits this quarter than during the same time last year.

“In fact, these five companies’ first-quarter profits alone are equivalent to almost 28 percent of what Americans spent to fill up their gas tanks in the same time period,” the report noted.

Per Insider, for at least four of those companies, that growth marks a tremendous increase in profits from even before the pandemic.

Lawmakers Ramp-Up Efforts to Reduce Prices

To address these startling disparities, federal lawmakers have moved in recent weeks to increase pressure on oil companies and take steps to lower prices.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill proposed by Rep. Katie Porter (D-Ca.) that aims to reduce gas prices. The legislation, called The Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, would give the president the authority to issue an Energy Emergency Declaration that would be effective for up to 30 days with the possibility of being renewed.

In that emergency period, it would be illegal for anyone to increase gas or home energy fuel prices to a level that is exploitative or “unconscionably excessive.” 

The proposal would also give the Federal Trade Commission the power to investigate and manage instances of price gouging from larger companies and give state authorities the ability to enforce price-gouging violations in civil courts.

The bill, which has already seen widespread opposition from Republicans and extensive lobbying from pro-oil interest groups, faces an uphill battle in the 50-50 split Senate.

During debate on the act Thursday, Rep. Porter delivered an impassioned speech accusing oil companies of driving their record profits by using their market power to unfairly increase prices.

“The oil and gas industry currently has more than 9,000 permits to drill for oil on federal land, but they are deliberately keeping production low to please their investors and increase their short-term profits,” she said. “Even when the price of crude oil falls, oil and gas companies have refused to pass those savings on to consumers.”

“Let me be clear: price gouging is anti-capitalist,” Porter continued. “It exploits a lack of competition, which is a hallmark of capitalism. It is an effort to juice corporate profits at the expense of customers. Energy markets are reeling because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Big oil companies, however, are using this temporary chaos to cover up their abuse.”

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (Vox) (NPR)

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Lincoln College to Close for Good After COVID and Ransomware Attack Ruin Finances

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Last year, 1,043 schools in the U.S. were the victim of ransomware attacks, including 26 colleges or universities, according to an analysis by Emsisoft.


One of the Only Historically Black Colleges in the Midwest Goes Down

After 157 years of educating mostly Black students in Illinois, Lincoln College will close its doors for good on Friday.

The college made the announcement last month, citing financial troubles caused by the coronavirus pandemic and a ransomware attack in December.

Enrollment dropped during the pandemic and the administration had to make costly investments in technology and campus safety measures, according to a statement from the school.

A shrinking endowment put additional pressure on the college’s budget.

The ransomware attack, which the college has said originated from Iran, thwarted admissions activities and hindered access to all institutional data. Systems for recruitment, retention, and fundraising were completely inoperable at a time when the administration needed them most.

In March, the college paid the ransom, which it has said amounted to less than $100,000. But according to Lincoln’s statement, subsequent projections showed enrollment shortfalls so significant the college would need a transformational donation or partnership to make it beyond the present semester.

The college put out a request for $50 million in a last-ditch effort to save itself, but no one came forward to provide it.

A GoFundMe aiming to raise $20 million for the college only collected $2,452 as of Tuesday.

Students and Employees Give a Bittersweet Goodbye

“The loss of history, careers, and a community of students and alumni is immense,” David Gerlach, the college’s president, said in a statement.

Lincoln counts nearly 1,000 enrolled students, and those who did not graduate this spring will leave the institution without degrees.

Gerlach has said that 22 colleges have worked with Lincoln to accept the remaining students, including their credits, tuition prices, and residency requirements.

“I was shocked and saddened by that news because of me being a freshman, so now I have to find someplace for me to go,” one student told WMBD News after the closure was announced.

When a group of students confronted Gerlach at his office about the closure, he responded with an emotional speech.

“I have been fighting hard to save this place,” he said. “But resources are resources. We’ve done everything we possibly could.”

On April 30, alumni were invited back to the campus to revisit the highlights of their college years before the institution closed.

On Saturday, the college held its final graduation ceremony, where over 200 students accepted their diplomas and Quentin Brackenridge performed the Lincoln Alma Mater.

Last year, 1,043 schools in the U.S. were the victim of ransomware attacks, including 26 colleges or universities, according to an analysis by Emsisoft.

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (Herald Review) (CNN)

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