News has recently broken that former University of Michigan doctor Robert Anderson has been accused of sexually abusing three men during his time at the university. The accusers have claimed that the university has allowed this type of abuse to go on for decades. Those making the allegations were athletes of the university when Dr. Anderson was employed at the University of Michigan. With these allegations coming to the surface, there has been an outcry for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate the matter.
In response to these allegations, Nessel said that her office would investigate those allegations with two primary conditions:
First, the state Legislature must appropriate money for the investigation, similar to what it did for the sex scandal investigation at Michigan State University. And second, U-M must cooperate, be completely transparent and waive all attorney-client privileges, which was not done in MSU’s abuse scandal.
Nessel went on to tell the media, “So, University of Michigan regents, if you are listening to me right now, hear what I’m telling you,” Nessel said in an appeal made through journalists. “We’re happy to come in; we’re happy to have a completely objective, non-biased investigation.” Nessel went on to tell the press that she has encouraged the University of Michigan to waive all privilege and to allow for an objective and non-biased investigation into the action of Dr. Anderson and to determine the facts of these allegations. To gain insight into this story, we spoke to several of the top criminal defense attorneys in the state of Michigan.
Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates, which is known as the top criminal defense firm in the state of Michigan. When asked for insight, Grabel stated, “When the AG requests the attorney-client privilege to be waived, we know that there is a serious issue. This is an issue that has the potential to shape Washtenaw County for decades to come. The University of Michigan and Washtenaw County may be under the same microscope that Penn State was with the Jerry Sandusky tragedy, and Michigan State was during the Larry Nassar hearings.”
William Amadeo is a partner at McManus and Amadeo in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates. Amadeo is known as the top criminal defense lawyer in Washtenaw County and gave commentary on this matter. Amadeo said, “I wonder if the University of Michigan is as concerned about these allegations as they were in taking Bobby Reyes off life support? During Bobby’s tragedy, all that we heard was U of M speak about how medical ethics were more important than allowing Bobby and his family to fight for the child’s life. If these allegations are true, it certainly calls into question the ethics of U of M. As for the potential defendant and defendants’, all that I can say is if Arianne Slay ends up winning the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s election she has proof of covered up allegations against innocent people in her community; God helps those on the other side of her ire.”
Lane Zabawa is one of the top criminal defense attorneys in Kent and Eaton County, Michigan. When asked for his insight, Zabawa stated, “While I don’t practice much in Washtenaw County, the rumors are swirling in my communities. Whenever there is an allegation of sexual abuse being covered up by an institution of higher education, there is going to be controversy. This case has the potential to be one played out in the media for some time. You certainly hope that justice prevails and that innocent people do not get swept into a media frenzy.”
Grabel went on to add, “Whenever there are delayed reporting cases, the issue of credibility becomes the central theme. The Nassar case hit very close to home. The world view of Michigan State was compromised in that scandal. These allegations against the University of Michigan could lead to the same type of media coverage and angered opinions. It is important to wait for the facts to surface before decisions are made, but this does appear to be a powder keg of controversy.”