Dr. George Tyndall, the former longtime gynecologist at the USC, was charged with sexually abusing sixteen patients at the student health center.
16 women ranging from 17 to 29 were sexually abused during their visits to the student health center for treatment.
According to the criminal complaint the sexual misconduct and harassment, which included forced touching and making “demeaning and vulgar” comments about patients’ genitalia occurred from 2009 to 2016. Victims were unaware of what was happening to them, as the gynecologist led them to think it served a professional purpose.
Dr. George Tyndall used his position of authority as a gynecologist to take medically unwarranted and nonconsensual photographs of his patient genitalia under the guise of medical treatment. The doctor particularly targeted young students, who were frequently unfamiliar with the nature of gynecological treatment as a result of their inexperience cultural background or youth. Thus, many of the young women did not realize what Tyndall was doing during the examinations and didn’t understand that he was sexually violating them.
Charges Against George Tyndall
George Tyndall is charged with 29 felonies, including 11 counts of sexual battery by fraud and 18 counts of sexual penetration. The charges include sexual harassment, sexual assault, gender violence, sexual abuse, sexual battery, wanton and reckless conduct relating to the gynecological medical treatment.
Dr. Tyndall, who started his work at the campus clinic in 1989, was suspended in 2016, when the expert evaluation began, and later left his post with a substantial payout.
Though the criminal case only involves 16 victims, more than 700 women have filed individual civil lawsuits in state court against University of Southern California and George Tyndall.
Class Action Settlement
USC has agreed to a $215 million class-action settlement with gynecologist’s 17,000 former patients, and would create a fund to pay $2,500 to $250,000 to abused women. The victims will get compensation based on the severity of doctor’s actions their readiness to provide statements. In case they only want to submit claims in writing, that will allow them a certain range of potential claim payments above the 2,500 floor. In case they want and are able to provide an interview, they can be entitled for a range up to the highest $250,000 amount.
The settlement requires University of Southern California to implement institutional changes, such as:
- Independent women’s health advocate on campus
- Stringent background checks
- Training and monitoring of health center employees
- Steps for preventing and reporting potential harassment or abuse or harassment