LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Former USC gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall made his first court appearance Monday after being arrested and charged with sexually assaulting 16 women.
Tyndall, 72, who was charged last week with 18 counts of sexual penetration and 11 counts of sexual battery by fraud, entered a plea of not guilty Monday. He was USC’s only full-time gynecologist at the university’s Engemann Student Health Center for nearly 30 years.
At the arraignment, the doctor wore a blue quilted garment that jailers refer to as a “suicide vest.” His attorney, Andrew Flier, said his client is not suicidal, but does suffer from heart disease, is diabetic and has been very depressed. Tyndall reportedly had a .38-caliber handgun with him when he was arrested last week, and was also taken to a hospital after complaining of chest pains over the weekend.
His bail was left at $2.075 million, but it will be reviewed Wednesday at another hearing.
USC began to investigate allegations of improper pelvic exams and making racist and sexually inappropriate remarks in 2016, but Tyndall and the university did not part ways until June 2017.
More than 400 women have accused Tyndall of sexual misconduct. USC announced in October it had reached a $215 million settlement in principle on a class-action lawsuit brought against Tyndall.
Flier said he and his client were looking forward to their day in court.
“There’s a big difference between someone performing a medical examination in a legal fashion and a prudent fashion for someone following proper medical procedures and guidelines. We have medical evidence and testimony that we are going to show that he followed all the rules,” Flier said. “I just think that a lot has happened to the doctor, where we just think that he’s been really crucified. And again, without sounding too redundant, we can’t wait to have our day in court to really examine each one of these alleged victims.”
A preliminary hearing in the case was scheduled for July 12.