A now-deceased UC Berkeley student's parents are claiming their son would not have committed suicide had he not endured alleged sexual abuse from a doctor at the university's health care facility. The parents are suing the doctor and UC Regents on behalf of their son.
Annie and Mike Stafford are the parents of Elgin Stafford, a former Congressional intern, who was 23-years-old when his body was found in the Los Angeles County canal. His parents are suing Dr. Robert Kevess, for the wrongful death of their son, saying the alleged abuse their son sustained drove him to suicide. Since the suit, Kevess has been accused by several additional parties alleging similar sexual abuse by him while he worked at the University's Tang Center.
The lawsuit includes reportedly includes dates, alleging when and how Kevess sexually violated Elgin Stafford over the course of a year.
The criminal complaint states that "As a result of being repeatedly sexually violated and abused, [Elgin Stafford's] sense of trust and wellbeing were severely undermined, he was plagued with nightmares of sexual violation, felt intense shame, humiliation and anger and suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suicidal ideation."
According to Bay Area News, Kevess, 53, resigned after 22 years at the center in April 2011. His resignation came as a consequence of another student alleging to the center's medical director that Kevess had sexually assaulted him.
Kevess, has since been charged with 19 felony counts, including sexual exploitation of multiple patients, sexual battery with false professional purpose and four counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object. The victims' names have been withheld from the criminal complaint. However, news reports have suggested that at least six males are claiming Kevess sexually violated them, dating back to 2006.
Kevess' medical license has been suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case. He is currently out on $745,000 bail. His pretrial hearing is set for July 27.
Elgin's parents accuse the UC Board of Regents of negligence, negligent supervision and negligent hiring and retention involving their level of responsibility for Kevess' alleged actions. A spokesman for the University has told members of the media that the school will fight negligence claims.
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