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Some 50 Men Accuse Male Doctor At USC Of Inappropriate Medical Exam Behavior

New allegations of sexual misconduct are at the center of an investigation at USC
New allegations of sexual misconduct are at the center of an investigation at USC
Allen J. Schaben/LA Times via Getty Images

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An investigative piece jointly published today by BuzzFeed News and USC's Annenberg Media outlined substantial allegations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior by former USC men's health physician Dr. Dennis Kelly. 

The accusations against Kelly go back as far as 2009 and nearly 50 men, all former USC students and members of the LGBTQ community, claim that Kelly subjected them to lengthy and uncomfortable genital exams, conducted unnecessary rectal probes designed to embarrass them and asked them invasive and inappropriate questions about their sex lives. Kelly himself is openly gay. 

Before the BuzzFeed News piece, allegations against Kelly first surfaced in February, when six of his accusers filed a lawsuit against him and USC seeking compensation from the university for negligent hiring and supervision, among other things. Until today, USC had issued only one short public statement regarding the accusations against Kelly, telling the press back in February that the university is “working to understand the facts of this matter…” and that they “care deeply about our entire Trojan family, including our LGBTQ-plus community, and take this matter very seriously.” 

Kelly resigned from USC in July 2018, but after the news of the lawsuit was released he was placed on administrative leave at Cal State Northridge, where he had been working part time as a men’s health physician since 2002. Kelly maintains that he has never abused patients and has always treated them appropriately. 

With guest host Libby Denkmann

We reached out to the Medical Board of California, California State University, Northridge and Fraser Watson & Croutch, which is the firm representing both Kelly and USC, according to reports. 

The CA Medical Board isn’t able to provide anyone to join our segment this morning, but provided the following to our questions:

Dr. Dennis Alan Kelly  is currently licensed to practice medicine in California. His license number is G 26581. His license is due to expire, unless renewed, on July 31, 2020.

The Medical Board of California is aware of allegations against this individual contained in press accounts.

Complaints filed against individual physicians are not public, and neither are investigations. 

The Medical Board of California has not filed an accusation against this physician.


Mark Schoofs, a visiting professor of journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and lead editor of this Buzzfeed story; advisor to the investigations team at KPCC/LAist

Jeffrey Klausner, M.D., professor of medicine and public health at UCLA; former director of the San Francisco City Clinic, the municipal STD clinic in San Francisco (1998-2010)