This article contains content that may be sensitive for some readers, especially those that knew Garza.
According to an investigative report released by KRON 4 News, the late Daniel Garza ’91 MD ’00, previous assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine and medical director for the San Francisco 49ers, sexually abused at least three Stanford students during his time at the University.
Garza allegedly lured students into his home by telling them that he was dying of cancer and convincing them to spend the night to help comfort him. He would then deceptively administer a drug to knock out his victims before sexually abusing them. No signs of cancer were ever found on Garza.
KRON 4’s Maureen Kelly uncovered evidence that at least three young men while working for Stanford were drugged and molested by Garza. When the University was first notified of Garza’s possible misconduct in September 2013, he was immediately placed on administrative leave, and Stanford informed law enforcement of the complaints.
On the evening of Oct. 15, two weeks after his home was raided by police as part of the investigation, Garza committed suicide at his house in Emerald Hills.
In addition to the Stanford victims, three other men also came forward with allegations against Garza, according to Kelly’s report. The three were Garza’s former high school students in El Paso, Tex., 20 years ago, and his manipulation methods were similar to those he used on the Stanford students. Before administering the potent anesthetic halothane, he would first lure in students by telling them that he needed help conducting an experiment.
Although two of the victims reportedly notified authorities of the abuse, Garza was never charged and passed several criminal background checks during his time at Stanford.
Garza went on to Stanford Medical School after his career as a high school teacher and became a doctor and associate professor who worked directly with University students. He specialized in sports medicine and conducted research on sports-related injuries, in particular the prevention of traumatic brain injury in athletes. He also held the position of medical director for the San Francisco 49ers.
No complaints about Garza ever surfaced among the 49ers, and news of his death shook the Stanford community in October. With KRON 4’s most recent release, several Stanford athletes responded with surprise.
“Shocking and upsetting news,” tweeted football player Ben Gardner ’13. “[Garza] had everyone fooled, including me.”
Contact Kylie Jue at kyliej ‘at’ stanford ‘dot’ edu.