A doctor at the University of Michigan sexually abused students and athletes, including an Olympic wrestler, for decades, three former wrestlers and their attorneys said in a news conference Thursday.
University doctor Robert E. Anderson, who worked at Michigan from 1968 to 2003, allegedly molested them during unnecessary medical examinations, the wrestlers said. Anderson died in 2008, according to the university.
Tad Deluca, a wrestler who attended Michigan from 1972-1976, said that the doctor was known among students as “Dr. Drop Your Drawers Anderson.” He said that he went to Anderson for a dislocated elbow, and the doctor gave him penis, hernia and prostate checks.
The allegations resemble those against Larry Nassar at Michigan State University and Richard Strauss at Ohio State University — doctors who abused their trusted positions to sexually abuse college students and athletes. The cases also involve allegations that powerful institutions ignored or otherwise dismissed complaints about the sexual misconduct.
Deluca said he first spoke up about these allegations in 1975 in a nine-page letter to his wrestling coach that mentioned Anderson. But the coach ignored the complaint and kicked him off the team, Deluca said, and his scholarship was revoked.
In 2018, Deluca wrote another letter to the University of Michigan about Anderson after hearing about Nassar’s case and the gymnasts who spoke against him in court. That letter, too, was ignored, Deluca said.
“I’m here today to speak up again to let the University of Michigan know that I will not be ignored again,” Deluca said.
“By Tad being brave enough to come forward and write this letter in 2018, hundreds of victims’ stories will be heard,” attorney Parker Stinar said. “Tad is the voice who refused to be silenced.”
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