Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital reached a deal Wednesday with 79 women who claim they were raped by former gynecologist Robert Hadden, who is accused of sexually assaulting patients for over 2 decades.
According to a news statement from Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York Presbyterian, the agreement established a $71.5 million compensation fund to be supervised by an independent special master.
Hadden, 63, was charged in September 2020 with taking women over state borders for the intent of sexual assault between 1993 and 2012, while working as a medical practitioner at the two hospitals. He entered a not-guilty plea.
Audrey Strauss, the acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York at the time, stated that Hadden “inappropriately groped, squeezed, and even licked his victims” while ostensibly conducting medical examinations.
Evelyn Yang, the wife of former presidential candidate and New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, was among his accusers. She went public last year with claims that Hadden mistreated her when she was his patient in 2012.
However, Yang and accuser Marissa Hoechstetter published a joint statement stating that they were not part of the deal and slamming the institution. They stated that they supported the women involved for their decisions, but that “we plan to completely expose the institutional coverup that resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of women being sexually assaulted by Robert Hadden throughout his 20+ year employment at Columbia University.”
Hadden was convicted in New York state court in 2016 after pleading guilty to a criminal sex act in the third degree and forceful contact. He was ordered to relinquish his medical license but was not imprisoned.
An attorney representing the ladies, Adam P. Slater, said the settlement, along with Hadden’s pending federal prosecution, “would hopefully minimize their pain, allow them to find some sort of closure, and put this awful event behind them.”
The institutions stated that they are attempting to resolve unresolved claims with more former patients.
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