NEW YORK (TCD) — A former gynecologist accused of molesting dozens of patients, including multiple minor victims, for almost 20 years was recently convicted of sex trafficking.
According to the indictment, from about 1993 until 2012, Robert Hadden, 64, “enticed and induced multiple victims to travel to his medical offices in New York, at least in part for the purpose of subjecting them to unlawful sexual abuse.”
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Hadden, who previously worked for Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, “cruelly lured women who sought professional medical care to his offices in order to gratify himself.”
Williams said patients trusted Hadden “as a physician, only to instead become victims of his heinous predilection.”
Hadden reportedly made his patients believe that the sexual abuse was “appropriate and medically necessary,” and he’d convince his victims to make follow-up appointments with him often. Because of this, Hadden had molested some of his victims for years at a time, according to the indictment.
Hadden reportedly sent nurses and assistants out of the examination room and would find ways to be alone with his victims so that he could abuse them.
The indictment alleges that Hadden “attempted to develop a rapport” with his victims by “asking them questions about their personal lives and telling them about his own life and family.”
Hadden would then reportedly talk about inappropriate and sexual subjects, and he’d ask his patients about their own sex lives. According to the indictment, Hadden also “offered unsolicited advice” to some of his patients about “how to groom their pubic hair and how to masturbate or have orgasms.”
Sometimes, Hadden reportedly made statements about his victims’ physical appearance.
Once Hadden developed a “rapport with his victims,” he would reportedly begin the sexual abuse “under the guise of providing medical advice and/or medical care.” For example, he would reportedly perform inappropriate breast exams on his victims and caress and grope their breasts. He would also allegedly pinch and twist his patients’ nipples.
Hadden would also reportedly perform unnecessary “mole checks,” where he’d examine his patients naked and inappropriately touch them. Additionally, he would allegedly perform pelvic exams that were not medically necessary.
According to the indictment, Hadden’s victims were often young and didn’t have much experience with gynecology appointments.
In a statement obtained by CBS News, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Kim said, “He donned his white coat and took the oath all doctors do to ‘do no harm’ and then he did the exact opposite.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, in September 2020, Hadden was initially charged with six counts of enticing and inducing individuals to travel interstate to engage in illegal sexual activity. On Tuesday, Jan. 24, Hadden was convicted of federal sex trafficking charges, CBS News reports.
Columbia University reportedly paid more than $230 million in settlement agreements to more than 200 of Hadden’s former patients.
Evelyn Yang, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s wife, was one of his former patients and spoke out about the abuse, CBS News reports. She was reportedly molested by Hadden in 2020 when she was seven months pregnant.
In a statement obtained by CBS News, Columbia University said, “We deeply regret the pain that Robert Hadden’s patients suffered and hope that these resolutions will provide some measure of support for the women he hurt. All those who came forward should be commended.”