U-M sex abuse scandal: Testimony suggests ex-VP overruled doctor's firing

September 11, 2020, 9:03 AM

Dr. Robert Anderson (Photo: U-M Bentley Historical Library)

The late University of Michigan athletic doctor accused of sexually abusing students was able to keep his job for an additional 24 years after a top administrator overruled his firing in 1979.

That came to light in a recently filed deposition taken this summer, the Detroit News reports. The school is facing several lawsuits on behalf of hundreds of alleged victims. 

Thomas Easthope, the former UM associate vice president for student services, testified that his boss, Vice President for Student Services Henry Johnson, overturned the decision to terminate Anderson, according to documents filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Easthope testified that influential former Athletic Director Don Canham also played a role in keeping Anderson at UM, enabling the physician to continue his abuse of students.

It was predictable that if Anderson "were allowed to stay . . . the number (of abused students) would go up,"Easthope said, according to the court filing.

Canham is deceased. Johnson declined to comment for The News. Anderson was his private doctor.

Easthope has previously said he moved to get rid of Anderson 40 or 50 years ago when gay activists on campus said he'd assaulted many members of the gay community.

An independent review into the school's actions is underway. Mediation is expected to begin next week in one of the suits.

Read more:  Detroit News

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