LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Five more women came forward Wednesday with allegations that they, too, were sexually abused by Dr. George Tyndall, the former USC campus gynecologist who has been accused of sexual harassment and abuse by scores of women during his three-decade tenure.
The complaint, filed against the physician and USC in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges female students were forced to seek medical treatment from Tyndall as the only full-time gynecologist at the Engemann Student Health Center, despite the university’s knowledge of numerous complaints of Tyndall’s sexually abusive behavior towards female patients on campus.
More than 200 women have filed reports with police alleging sexual misconduct by Tyndall during medical exams at the campus health center.
Hundreds of women have also sued the doctor and USC, contending the university was aware of complaints about Tyndall’s behavior but failed to take any action.
In October, USC said it would pay $215 million to settle the claims of sexual abuse and harassment, but lawyers for hundreds of the accusers said it wasn’t enough money.
Tyndall, 71, left the university two years ago amid an investigation into his activities.
USC officials have denied any coverup, and Tyndall has denied any wrongdoing.
The newest complaint further alleges USC protected its own reputation and financial interests by not only granting Tyndall unfettered sexual access to female students and actively concealing complaints of his sexual abuse, but by paying Tyndall a financial settlement so that he would resign.
USC’s 2016 investigation revealed that Tyndall routinely made sexually and racially inappropriate remarks to patients, kept a secret box full of photographs of his patients’ genitals and had documented complaints against him dating back to at least 1988, the suit alleges.
“For most of the women, this was their first time going to the gynecologist,” said their attorney, Michelle Simpson Tuegel. “At what is such a vulnerable time in a young woman’s life, and in an exposed physical state, they were put in the hands of a predator by their school.”
In 2015, plaintiff Kendall Fujioka was sexually abused by Tyndall during a gynecological exam at the Student Health Center where he inappropriately touched her, told her she was beautiful and made racially suggestive comments, the suit states.
“I will never forget the helplessness and humiliation I felt as I laid there, exposed and vulnerable, wondering if the treatment I was experiencing was typical of a male gynecologist as I’d never had one before,” Fujioka said.
Plaintiff Kenia Gomez also sought treatment at USC’s Student Health Center in 2014, where she underwent a vaginal exam performed by Tyndall, who asked her if she had a boyfriend and how frequently she had sex, the suit states.
“What happened in that examination room under the guise of medical treatment is inexcusable and unforgivable,” Gomez said. “It’s time for USC to adhere to its own code of ethics and take responsibility for its role in facilitating what happened to me, and to hundreds of women. There must be an end to its culture of dismissing complaints from sexual abuse victims.”
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