ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — An attorney announced Wednesday his firm represents more than a dozen people in the University of Michigan sexual abuse case and will hold a news conference with the whistleblower and two other former wrestlers to share their allegations about the late Dr. Robert E. Anderson.
“On Thursday, different victims will be able to come forward and request that the University of Michigan accepts accountability for decades upon decades of these allegations,” lawyer Parker Stinar with Denver-based Wahlberg, Woodruff, Nimmo & Sloane told The Associated Press.
Stinar said a former Wolverine wrestler from the 1970s will be among the speakers at the news conference. The man, who Stinar didn’t identify, will read parts of a letter he has kept that detail his previous complaints about Anderson and correspondence he received from the university, Stinar said.
“Every victim that we’ve spoken with wants the university to be held accountable,” Stinar said. “And equally if not more important, wants to spread awareness so that one voice isn’t silenced until it gets to 100. But that first voice is heard and actions are taken to prevent this from happening ever again.”
Also scheduled to speak at the news conference are the whistleblower, who hasn’t yet been identified, and former Olympic and Michigan wrestler Andy Hrovat, the first athlete to publicly say Anderson touched him inappropriately. Hrovat also said last week the physician’s reputation for such conduct was well known among teammates two-plus decades ago.
“We know that he was also involved with football, track and field and hockey in addition to wrestling,” Stinar said. “We’ve been in contact with a number of different athletes beyond just the wrestling team as well as individuals that were not affiliated with the University of Michigan, as far as being athletes, but saw Dr. Anderson in a private University of Michigan clinic.”
The revelations echo high-profile sexual abuse allegations made against sports doctors at other universities.
Last week, the university’s president apologized to “anyone who was harmed” by Anderson and offered counseling services. The school says it has started an investigation into Anderson’s behavior following abuse allegations from five former patients.
Officials have acknowledged some university employees were aware of accusations against the doctor prior to the whistleblower’s 2018 complaint that led to a police investigation.
“We have engaged an external firm to investigate a number of questions related to Dr. Anderson,” school spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said.