Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
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How Sexual Predator Dr. Robert Anderson Survived Firing Despite Early Allegations he Abused Male Students

New testimony reveals Anderson was protected and retained, putting him in position to molest hundreds if not thousands of additional students and athletes over the next 24 years

As reported by The Detroit News, new documents and testimony have emerged from a recent deposition in the sexual abuse litigation against the University of Michigan and the late Dr. Robert Anderson that provide some answers as to how Anderson was able to survive firing despite credible allegations as early as 1979 that he had sexually assaulted numerous male students in exam rooms.

The testimony came from Thomas Easthope, former UM associate vice president for student services, who acknowledged firing Anderson in 1979 after a colleague alerted him that Anderson was sexually assaulting students. Easthope recalled that he immediately confronted Anderson in August 1979 with the allegations, and when the doctor did not deny the claims, he fired Anderson on the spot.

Details in Easthope’s testimony further revealed that Easthope’s boss at the time, Vice President for Student Services Henry Johnson, overrode Easthope’s termination of Anderson, allowing Anderson to remain employed at the university overseeing the care of athletes and other students for another 24 years.

During those years, Anderson allegedly abused as many as 800 new victims.

Easthope acknowledged that he didn’t know or find the names of the victims, nor did he try to speak with them after he fired Anderson. Easthope noted that it was also his understanding that Anderson was abusing gay male students, which he described as an underprioritized subset of the University of Michigan’s student population.

Lieff Cabraser partner Annika K. Martin — one of the attorneys appointed to represent victims in the lawsuit over the molestations that is currently seeking class-action certification — said that UM must be held accountable.

“Easthope’s testimony confirms that U of M’s most senior administrators were aware of Dr. Anderson’s misconduct, yet gave him free rein to continue to abuse thousands of students,” said Martin, who took part in the deposition and filed excerpts from Easthope’s deposition.

“Not only was Anderson not fired, but he was protected, lauded, given a raise and allowed to stay and abuse his position of power for decades. All these victims deserve an opportunity to obtain justice and create lasting change to prevent this type of abuse from ever occurring again at UM.”

Learn more about the student athlete sexual abuse class action against the University of Michigan / Dr. Robert Anderson.

If You Are A Victim of Sexual Abuse

Lieff Cabraser represents individuals nationwide in sexual abuse lawsuits against their physicians, teachers, clergy, and other abusers, including the USC sexual abuse litigation filed on behalf of nearly 18,000 women abused by University gynecologist George Tyndall, where Lieff Cabraser partner Annika K. Martin serves as co-lead class counsel whose efforts led to a historic settlement for victims of $215 million and sweeping institutional reforms at USC.

If you were sexually abused by Dr. Robert Anderson, we urge you to contact Annika or Lieff Cabraser attorney Patrick Andrews today about your legal rights and potential recovery at 800 541-7358 or by using the secure form on this page. There is no charge or obligation for our review of your case, and all information will be held in the strictest confidence