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Former Michigan athlete explains why he’s speaking out about abuse by Dr. Robert Anderson

More than 800 former athletes have come forward

More than 800 former University of Michigan athletes have come forward accusing Dr. Robert Anderson of sexually abusing them during exams.
More than 800 former University of Michigan athletes have come forward accusing Dr. Robert Anderson of sexually abusing them during exams.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – More than 800 former University of Michigan athletes have come forward accusing Dr. Robert Anderson of sexually abusing them during exams.

Jon Vaughn is a former star running back for Michigan football and last played in 1990. He is one of the athletes who said Anderson sexually abused them.

Two weeks after his 50th birthday a friend emailed Vaughn about the allegations against Anderson. Vaughn said the email opened his eyes on his own life and everything changed in March of 2020.

Read: Dozens gather at University of Michigan, demand full investigation into Dr. Anderson

“It’s not like this is easy for me to talk about this. But I feel it’s necessary,” Vaughn said.

Vaughn said it has taken him more than a year of intense therapy to understand what Anderson did to him. He said Anderson performed 45 to 50 unnecessary genital and rectal exams on him.

He said many others who experienced the same abuse are still struggling with the long-term effects.

Originally, Vaughn was John Doe 32 in the lawsuit. He dropped his anonymity because of a conversation with his late mother he had 29 years ago about her role fighting in the civil rights movement.

“She concluded by saying, ‘This was my moment to stand for something that was bigger than me.’ And she said, ‘One day you’re going to be faced with something that’s bigger than you and I want you to stand,’” he said. “I’m not John Doe. I’m Jon Vaughn.”

Vaughn is meeting with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Thursday (Aug. 5) to further discuss the abuse.



About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.