02/21 15:28 CST Documents: Michigan student says he reported doctor's abuse
Documents: Michigan student says he reported doctor's abuse
By LARRY LAGE, REESE DUNKLIN, KATHLEEN FOODY and MIKE HOUSEHOLDER
ANN ARBOR, Michigan (AP) --- A former University of Michigan student whose 2018
complaint that a late doctor at the school had molested him during medical
exams for routine injuries decades ago says he complained at the time to his
wrestling coach and the school's athletic director about the sexual abuse,
according to documents released Friday by the prosecutor's office.
The student also recalled Dr. Robert E. Anderson being known as "Dr. Drop your
drawers Anderson" by athletes in the 1970s, according to the documents released
to The Associated Press by prosecutors who reviewed a campus police
investigation of the allegations against Anderson.
The university's president this week apologized to "anyone who was harmed" by
Anderson. Mark Schlissel's comment came a day after the school announced that
it had launched an investigation into the doctor's behavior following abuse
allegations from five former patients.
Documents released by the Washtenaw County prosecutor's office show that a
former Michigan wrestler wrote to Athletic Director Warde Manuel in July 2018
with details about repeated fondling during medical exams decades earlier. The
name of the wrestler was redacted in records released to The Associated Press.
In a four-page letter, the former wrestler accused the doctor of touching his
penis and testicles, and inserting his finger into his rectum "too many times
for it to have been considered diagnostic or therapeutic for the conditions and
injuries that I had."
The first time this happened was during his freshman year in 1972, when he went
to the doctor for treatment for facial cold sores, according to the letter. The
wrestler saw the doctor several more times for that condition and was
inappropriately touched each time, he wrote.
"I didn't like it, but I didn't really pay much attention to it," the letter
said. "He was the doctor and it never occurred to me that he was enjoying what
I was not."
The wrestler said the doctor again touched him during his junior season after
he had dislocated an elbow.
"I found it strange that I needed a penis and hernia check," he wrote.
The wrestler told Manuel that athletes on at least two other sports teams knew
about Anderson's conduct while he was at the school.
Bill Johannesen, who coached the Michigan wrestling team in the 1970s, told
police that, while none of his athletes told him they were violated by a
doctor, he did remember them "laughing" and "joking" about one particular
doctor who told them to "take your pants down" for a "hurt elbow." Asked by
police to recall the doctor's name, Johannesen said: "Dr. Anderson."
The documents include nearly 100 pages detailing the police investigation,
including interviews with people who said they had not heard any complaints
about Anderson. Among them was Russell Miller, who was an athletic trainer when
Anderson worked with the Michigan football team. He told police that Anderson
was an "unbelievable team doctor."
According to the police report, Miller said when Anderson left his job as
director of Health Services, then-athletics director Don Canham worked out a
deal so Anderson could work with the football team. Miller said Anderson served
as a primary care physician for most of the football staff and their families.
Miller said the thought of Anderson being investigated "shatters him,"
according to the police report.
Foody reported from Chicago. Dunklin reported from Dallas.