The president and CEO of the Honolulu Marathon has joined a chorus of former students who have publicly accused a late University of Michigan doctor of sexual abuse, saying the physician performed a rectal exam on him during a medical appointment in the 1970s.
Dr. James Barahal, who himself is a longtime physician, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that Dr. Robert E. Anderson performed the ‘completely inappropriate act’ with his fingers when the then-medical student visited the student health center in 1975 complaining of a sore throat.
‘I remember leaving, and I can still picture the health center and walking through the waiting room, getting out on the street and it was like, “What was that?” Barahal said Monday.
Dr. James Barahal, president and CEO of the Honolulu Marathon (pictured left in 2006), has come out accusing the late University of Michigan doctor Robert E. Anderson (right) of sexually abusing him during a medical exam in 1975
Barahal is pictured in this throwback photo playing the guitar in Switzerland in 1977, two years after the incident at UM
Barahal, pictured with his wife of nearly 30 years, said he did not report the alleged abuse at the time but never forgot it
The 67-year-old who lives in Kailua, Hawaii, with his wife and college-age son, has headed up the Honolulu Marathon – one of the nation’s largest races – for more than 30 years and has been inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame.
Barahal has headed up the Honolulu Marathon – one of the nation’s largest races – for more than 30 years and has been inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame
Barahal was training with Michigan’s cross-country team in 1975 when he was ‘fast-tracked’ in to see Anderson, who was the director of the University Health Service as well as a physician to some of the Ann Arbor school’s athletic teams. Anderson died in 2008 aged 80, leaving behind a wife and three children.
University of Michigan officials were warned more than four decades ago that Anderson had been molesting patients during exams.
He was demoted but continued working there and went on to allegedly abuse again as a physician with the athletic department, according to documents from a police investigation the AP obtained through a public-records request.
The probe began in October 2018 based on a letter sent by a former wrestler to athletic director Warde Manuel in mid-July. It was not made public until last week.
Since then, a number of men alleging sexual abuse by Anderson, including Barahal, have retained law firms that are representing accusers who sued Michigan State University and Ohio State University in similar cases.
Andy Hrovat, 40, who competed for the United States in the 2008 Summer Olympics, spoke out last week, claiming that Anderson inappropriately touched him during medical exams when he was a freshman at UM in 1998.
UM alumni Robert Julian Stone, 69 (left), and Andy Hrovat, 40 (right), previously spoke out accusing Anderson of inappropriate touching two decades apart