July 14, 2020
Larry Lage

The first female to publicly say she was sexually abused by a team doctor at the University of Michigan says she hopes to inspire other women and men to come forward.

Cathy Kalahar, who played tennis for the Wolverines in the 1970s, joins hundreds of Michigan graduates who have already alleged that doctor Robert Anderson molested them. Anderson died in 2008.

Kalahar told The Associated Press on Monday that Anderson assaulted her during an exam when she was a freshman in 1973, when the school had its first women's tennis team.

Kalahar said she told a psychological counselor at the school about what happened but that the woman, whose name Kalahar does not recall, brushed it off as a “sexual fantasy" she said the student was having about Anderson.

Kalahar is represented by Denver-based Wahlberg, Woodruff, Nimmo & Sloane, a law firm that is representing more than 115 clients who allege Anderson sexually abused them.

Last month, a judge said she would order the university to stop reaching out to alumni as part of its investigation of Anderson. U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts is overseeing lawsuits by people, who allege they were abused by Anderson. Roberts agreed with attorneys, who said it’s wrong for the university to communicate with people who could become plaintiffs in class-action litigation.

The university has sent emails or letters to more than 300,000 former students, asking them to share information that “may be helpful” in an investigation of Anderson being conducted by the WilmerHale law firm.

Anderson worked at Michigan from the mid-1960s through 2003. The university believes he assaulted athletes during routine physicals and injury exams. It has expressed a willingness to compensate victims outside court with the help of a mediator. But at the same time, the school is seeking to have lawsuits dismissed because too many years have passed.

President Mark Schlissel has said the WilmerHale report will be released publicly and without prior review by the university.



Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.

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