Thomas Easthope, University of Michigan’s associate vice president for student services from 1970-88, will be deposed in July as part of lawsuits against the University involving alleged sexual abuse by the late Dr. Robert Anderson, according to the Detroit News. Easthope told police he fired Anderson in 1979 after hearing reports that Anderson had been abusing patients. 

Anderson, former head of University Health Services and athletic team physician, was accused of sexual misconduct by hundreds of former student athletes in the 1970s. University Alum Robert Julian Stone wrote to the University in 2019 about these allegations and another student previously wrote Warde Manuel a letter about allegations in 2018. Anderson worked at the University of Michigan from the 1970s to 2003 and passed away in 2008. The University has dropped the lawsuit against Anderson due to a three-year limit that crimes can be sent to court. 

Wednesday’s ruling, filed by U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts, also orders the University to produce by July 30 any additional “notes, documents, audio tapes, and/or video tapes, in whatever medium held, including electronic, related to University of Michigan Police Department Detective David West’s investigation into allegations about Dr. Anderson…,” the Detroit News reports

The ruling is in response to an April 17 emergency resolution to depose Easthope filed by attorney Mike Cox. In the resolution, Cox noted many other high-level University officials with connections to Anderson in West’s investigation are deceased. 

"Easthope, who is 87 years old, is one of very few living former UM administrators with personal knowledge, from as early as 1979, of Anderson’s abuse and is still alive to testify to central topics to this litigation," Cox wrote. 

The University, which motioned to dismiss the cases May 1, is not opposed to Easthope’s deposition, according to the order. 

The ruling also set an Aug. 31 deadline for plaintiffs to respond to the University’s motion to dismiss and file amended complaints, the Detroit News reports. The University will have until Sept. 30 to file renewed motions to dismiss and plaintiffs will have until Oct. 20 to respond.

Summer News Editor Calder Lewis can be reached at calderll@umich.edu.

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