- 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)
AMC Will Set Movie Ticket Prices Based on Seat Locations
The decision has faced backlash, but AMC executives claim it will ensure that “guests have more control over their experience.”
Sightline by AMC
AMC, the largest movie theater chain in the U.S., is changing its price metric by charging more at admission for preferred seats and offering value seats at a lower cost.
The new pricing experiment is called Sightline by AMC, and it offers three different tiers. Value Sightline includes the seats right next to the screen, while Preferred Sightline includes seats that are centered and in the middle of the theater. The average seats, or Standard Sightline, will remain at the normal price of admission.
“While every seat at AMC delivers an amazing moviegoing experience, we know there are some moviegoers who prioritize their specific seat and others who prioritize value moviegoing,” AMC’s executive vice president and CMO Eliot Hamlisch said to Variety. “Sightline at AMC accommodates both sentiments to help ensure that our guests have more control over their experience, so that every trip to an AMC is a great one.”
However, Sightline will not apply to AMC’s Discount Tuesday deal — every ticket will still be offered at $5 regardless of seat location. Sightline will also only apply to evening shows after 4:00 p.m.
The movie theater giant has faced backlash for this new price structure, including from people in the entertainment industry.
“This is absurdly stupid & only creates unnecessary classism,” actor and director Seth Green wrote on Twitter. “AMCTheatres clearly focused on squeezing new profits anywhere possible. Trying to get people back into theaters? Don’t penalize folks with less to spend.”
Actor Elijah Wood also condemned the change for disproportionately impacting lower-income families.
“The movie theater is and always has been a sacred democratic space for all and this new initiative by AMCTheatres would essentially penalize people for lower income and reward for higher income,” Wood wrote.
This is not the first time AMC has experimented with its pricing. During the opening weekend of “The Batman” last year, AMC announced it would be charging $1 to $2 more for it compared to other movies playing at the same time. Back in 2019, the chain tested a different pricing initiative, charging more for movies “of the highest appeal” and making less in-demand movies cheaper.
Neo-Nazi Leader Charged in Plot to “Destroy Baltimore” By Attacking Substations — a Growing Trend
Experts say that far-right extremist attacks on energy infrastructure have grown significantly in the last few years.
Conspiracy to Attack Maryland Energy Systems
A neo-Nazi leader who was recently released from prison and a woman he met while incarcerated were arrested on Monday for plotting to “completely destroy” the power grid in Baltimore, Maryland.
Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the FBI field office in Baltimore said in a press conference that the two had “conspired to inflict maximum harm on the power grid,” by targeting five electrical substations that serve 1.2 million people in central Maryland.
He noted that the pair ”were not just talking, but taking steps to fulfill their threats and further their extremist goals.”
Their plot, however, was foiled by law enforcement before they could put it into action, in large part because both extensively detailed their plans to an FBI informant on encrypted messaging apps.
Sobocinski described their extremist views as “racially or ethnically motivated.”
The neo-Nazi leader is the founder of a small but dangerous group called the Atomwaffen Division, which uses civil disorder and violence because they believe it will help spark a race war in the U.S. — a white supremacist theory known as “accelerationism.”
Authorities say that he previously plotted with his roommates — also members of the group — to attack energy facilities in Florida. Before he could, he was arrested and put in federal prison for possessing bomb-making materials.
During that time, he began to communicate with the woman, who was serving time in a separate facility in Maryland after being charged with robbing multiple convenience stores with a machete.
Authorities point to several pieces of evidence that indicate she too had been radicalized, including a statement she wrote that prosecutors say resembles a manifesto, in which she references Hitler, the Unabomber, and a far-right Norwegian terrorist and stated: “I would sacrifice **everything** for my people.”
The woman’s mother also told The Washington Post that she had become involved with neo-Nazi beliefs in prison, which she has been in and out of since 2006.
A Growing Trend
Federal law enforcement officials have said there is “no indication” the planned attack in Baltimore was connected to other attacks. The plot, however, comes on the heels of similar events.
In early December, there were a series of attacks on substations in North Carolina that were very reminiscent of what the pair in Maryland were plotting. In fact, prosecutors even said the neo-Nazi leader sent the FBI informant a video about that attack.
While authorities have provided little information on a suspect or motive in North Carolina, it has been reported that they have zeroed in on two possibilities that both center around far-right extremism.
Around the same time in December, there were also a series of attacks on the grid in the Pacific Northwest.
Researchers and homeland security officials have said that far-right extremists have been increasingly targeting energy infrastructure while operating under the neo-Nazi theory of accelerationism.
According to a study by the program on extremism at George Washington University released in September, white supremacist attempts to target energy systems “dramatically increased in frequency” from 2016 to 2022.
“Since 2019, white supremacist attacks plots against critical infrastructure systems have distinctly increased,” the study found.
Brian Harrell, a former Homeland Security official who oversaw infrastructure protection at the department, told The Post that he saw a noticeable surge in violent extremists talking about carrying out these attacks online.
“When digging into the ‘dark web,’ social media portals and chat rooms, we quickly see that targeting and destroying energy infrastructure is a tactic many extremist groups fantasize about,” he said.
Editor’s Note: At Rogue Rocket, we make it a point to not include the names and pictures of mass murders, suspected mass murderers, or those accused of committing violent crimes who may have been seeking attention or infamy. Therefore, we will not be linking to other sources, as they may contain these details.
College Board Changes AP African American Studies After Backlash From DeSantis Amid Education Culture War
As requested by DeSantis, the College Board removed lessons on contemporary topics including Black Lives Matter, queer studies, and reparations.
College Board Rolls Out Curriculum
The College Board, which oversees Advanced Placement high school courses, announced an official curriculum framework for its new, landmark Advanced Placement African American studies on Wednesday.
The announcement, made on the first day of Black History Month, has faced scrutiny for seeming to scale back a number of relevant subjects that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and other state education officials had criticized.
In January, DeSantis said that the new course would be banned in Florida unless changes were made, arguing that a draft version of the course was “woke.”
Education officials claimed that the class, which had been in the making for nearly a decade, violated a recent state law dubbed the Stop WOKE Act. The legislation regulates public school instruction on race by banning critical race theory and any education that describes some groups as oppressed and others as privileged based on race or sex.
Democrats denounced DeSantis’ action as a political stunt and urged the College Board to maintain its principles.
According to reports, many historical topics like slavery largely remain intact from the previous draft. However, important contemporary issues like Black Lives Matter, affirmative action, queer studies, reparations, and intersectionality — all of which Florida leaders objected to — were removed from curriculum requirements and are no longer part of the AP exam.
Instead, those areas of study have been downgraded to be part of a list of options students can pursue for a mandatory research project. The College Board also added a new research project idea to that list that will certainly please the right: “Black conservatism.”
It has additionally been reported that the organization pulled names of multiple Black authors the state education officials had flagged as problematic, including many famous and pioneering Black scholars who wrote about critical race theory, the queer experience, and Black feminism.
The College Board defended itself against criticism in a press release announcing the changes, claiming that the process of developing the framework “has operated independently from political pressure.”
DeSantis’ Ongoing Culture War
DeSantis’ attempts to influence the national curriculum of an AP course are just his latest in a much broader effort to control what is and is not taught in public schools.
Just one day before the College Board announced the revised course, the governor outlined what The New York Times described as “his most aggressive swing yet at the education establishment.”
Specifically, he proposed a massive overhaul to higher education in the state that would defund and eliminate diversity and equity programs, mandate courses on Western civilization, and reduce tenure protections that are essential to ensure professors have freedom of expression.
Furthermore, the effects of another law DeSantis signed last year are now just beginning to materialize. The policy, which went into effect this July, requires every school book to be age-appropriate, “free of pornography,” and “suited to student needs.”
To follow those guidelines, school books have to be approved by a certified media specialist who has undergone specific training.
Notably, the law also states that teachers can be charged with third-degree felonies if they “knowingly or unknowingly” give students access to a book that the specialists say is harmful — meaning that they could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Last month, the state education department clarified that the rule does not just apply to school libraries, but also to any books a teacher keeps in their classroom too.
Multiple outlets reported this week that records they obtained show at least two school districts have now directed teachers to either remove their books or hide them until review to avoid the possibility of going to jail.