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Suit: USC ‘Deliberately Concealed’ School Gynecologist’s Sexual Abuse

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Four former female students have sued the University of Southern California, claiming that the school intentionally hid the alleged sexual misconduct of a longtime campus gynecologist.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court Monday against USC and Dr. George Tyndall, alleges that “despite the fact that USC has publicly admitted that it received numerous complaints of Tyndall’s sexually abusive behavior, dating back to at least the year 2000, USC actively and deliberately concealed Tyndall’s sexual abuse for years, continuing to grant Tyndall unfettered sexual access to the young female USC students in his care, all to protect USC’s reputation and financial coffers.”
The complaint alleges that Tyndall, who was the Engemann Student Health Center’s only full-time gynecologist for nearly 30 years, forced the women to strip naked on multiple occasions, during which he “groped” and “digitally penetrated” them.
“This action seeks to vindicate the rights of four young women who were sexually abused, harassed and molested at the hands of serial sexual predator,” the complaint reads.
It seeks damages for sexual abuse and harassment, sexual assault, sexual battery, unfair business practices and negligence, among other things.
Outrage has grown over USC’s handling of Tyndall since the school acknowledged last week that it had received complaints about him since the early 2000s.
In a letter dated May 15, USC President Max Nikias announced that the school’s Office of Equity and Diversity got a complaint about Tyndall in June 2016 and immediately launched an investigation — which included surveying 2,500 student patients — and placed Tyndall, now 71, on administrative leave.
USC didn’t terminate his employment until June 2017.
On Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported that about 200 more patients had come forward with complaints against Tyndall, who had served as the Engemann Student Health Center’s only full-time gynecologist for nearly 30 years. The paper said some of those cases would soon be forwarded to the Los Angeles Police Department.
In addition to the accusations that Tyndall used racist and sexually inappropriate remarks, former colleagues had questioned his methods of pelvic exams, specifically, his practice of digital insertion before using a speculum.
The Times had been investigating Tyndall for months prior to the university’s acknowledgment last week.
Also Friday, USC fired two longtime student health clinic administrators as a result of the Tyndall scandal.
Dr. William Leavitt, the lead physician at the Engemann Student Health Clinic, confirmed to the Times he was fired Friday afternoon.
Tammie Akiyoshi, the clinical director at the health clinic, was also fired.
Former colleagues alleged Tyndall targeted young women, especially those from China and other Asian countries, for exams that included inappropriate touching and lewd remarks about patients’ sex lives and bodies, the Times reported.
The Chinese government issued a pointed public statement Wednesday expressing “serious concerns” about USC’s handling of Tyndall.
(©2018 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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