A former Columbia University Ob/Gyn is facing accusations of sexual assault from nearly 40 new women, joining 32 others including Evelyn Yang, wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
More than half of the women accusing Dr Robert Hadden of sexual assault have just come forward in the last month after Yang made her accusations public. On 16th January, Yang sat for an interview with CNN in which she claimed that Hadden sexually abused her during a pregnancy exam in 2012. Dozens of women have come forward with claims of abuse by Hadden in the weeks since the interview. Hadden has denied the allegations in court papers, except for those from a prior guilty plea in 2016, according to CNN.
Along with the 32 women, including Yang, who is part of a lawsuit against Hadden, Columbia University, and affiliates, this brings the tally up to about 70 women who have now accused Hadden of sexual assault.
Columbia University gave a statement to CBS News apologising to the alleged victims.
“We condemn sexual misconduct in any form and extend our deepest apologies to the women whose trust Robert Hadden violated and to their families,” the university said. Columbia did not comment on the lawsuit.
Allegations against Hadden in the suit go as far back as the early 1990s, CBS News reports. He has been accused of licking and digitally penetrating patients’ vaginas without gloves, along with fondling their breasts and anuses. According to the allegations, Hadden told the patients he was performing medical exams.
Yang told CNN that her experience took place when she was seven months pregnant. "I was in the exam room, and I was dressed and ready to go," she said. "Then, at the last minute, he kind of made up an excuse. He said something about, 'I think you might need a C-section,' and he proceeded to grab me over to him and undress me and examine me internally, ungloved. I knew it was wrong. I knew I was being assaulted."
Anthony DiPietro, an attorney representing the women suing Hadden and the university, told the New York Post that of 70 or so who have come forward, two were minors and, like Yang, dozens were pregnant at the time of the alleged abuse. He says he expects more women will come forward as the case progresses.