The list of sexual abuse victims of a former gynecologist at the University of Southern California is getting longer as more students have come forward to report the abuse.
Fifty-four former undergraduate and graduate students who attended the college from the 1980’s through 2017 filed a lawsuit on Tuesday taking the number of victims seeking justice to 279.
According to hundreds of reports by former and current students, George Tyndall, 71, used to take nude photographs of patients while conducting inappropriate pelvic and digital penetration exams. He has also been accused of making lewd and racial comments during visits.
Tyndall allegedly often targeted minority students — including many from the university’s large Asian student population — who were not fluent in English or unfamiliar with gynecological exams.
The previous lawsuits have also accused the school of allowing Tyndall to resign quietly with a financial settlement in June last year, after an internal probe found him guilty of inappropriately touching the genitals of patients.
“It is unconscionable that a world-class institution like USC would ignore repeated red flags and allow Dr. Tyndall to remain in a position where he could continue his abuse of students,” said Attorney Mike Arias who filed a lawsuit on behalf of 54 former USC students.
“The simple truth is this: USC could have – and should have – prevented hundreds, if not thousands, of students from being abused by Dr. Tyndall if they had simply investigated and acted on the complaints filed by students and professional staff. Given the sheer number of complaints regarding his conduct lodged to the University during Dr. Tyndall’s tenure, USC should have reported him to the appropriate authorities years, if not decades, earlier,” Airas added.
According to Howard A. Janet, one of the attorneys in this cases, the institutionalized sexual abuse and assault are reaching epidemic proportions.
“The only way to enact change is victims to speak up and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. That is exactly what these 54 courageous women have done today,” Janet said.
Meanwhile, the accused doctor in a letter to LA Times in May this year defended himself and alleged patients of fabricating stories.