During a news conference Tuesday in Novi, Mich., Cathy Kalahar — who played tennis for the University of Michigan in the 70s — came forward with allegationsabout her accuasation that she was sexually abused by the late Dr. Robert Anderson.
Kalahar is the first female to publicly say she was sexually assaulted by Anderson. She is represented by Wahlberg, Woodruff, Nimmo & Sloane, a Denver-based law firm representing more than 115 clients alleging that Anderson sexually abused them.
She said she told a psychological counselor at the University what had happened, but that counselor had dismissed her allegations as “sexual fantasies” Kalahar was having about Anderson. According to Kalahar, she hoped that by speaking out, she would inspire other men and women to come forward as well.
Last month, a judge ruled that the University cannot reach out to potential victims of Anderson, after the University announced an outreach effort to contact 300,000 alumni asking for information regarding Anderson. University spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald addressed this in an email to The Daily.
“Because of the court's broad order, the independent investigation has been on hold now for almost three weeks and, as explained in the University of Michigan’s request for reconsideration, that means survivors and other witnesses have not been able to speak with the investigation firm,” Fitzgerald wrote. “We hope the court allows the investigation to start back up again.”
Anderson worked at the University as the director of University Health Service and an athletic team physician until 2003. The University has launched an investigation against Anderson, conducted by the law firm WilmerHale.
“At the University of Michigan, we condemn all forms of sexual misconduct,” Fitzgerald wrote. “Whether it takes place now or took place in the past, it is unacceptable. All members of our community deserve to feel safe and supported. The university has taken extensive measures to combat sexual misconduct.”
The University says it is willing to compensate victims outside of court, but it is also seeking to have lawsuits dismissed on the account of the incidents occurring too long ago. University President Mark Schlissel said the WilmerHale report will be released publicly and without prior review by the University, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Daily Staff Reporter Iulia Dobrin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.