USC’s former campus gynecologist pleads not guilty to new felony charges
USC’s former campus gynecologist, who is accused of sexually assaulting 21 young women, pleaded not guilty Friday to a half-dozen new felony charges.
Prosecutors filed the latest charges — five counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person and one count of sexual battery by fraud — against George Tyndall on July 9.
The new charges involve alleged crimes against five women while the 73-year-old defendant was working at USC’s health center between 2011 and 2015, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Tyndall was charged in June 2019 with 18 felony counts of sexual penetration and 11 felony counts of sexual battery by fraud involving 16 other women dating back to 2009. He subsequently pleaded not guilty and was released from jail on bond about two months after his arrest.
All of the alleged victims, who ranged in age from 17 to 31, went to the campus facility for annual examinations or other treatment, according to prosecutors.
A date is scheduled to be set Sept. 25 for a hearing in which a judge will determine if there is enough evidence to allow the case against Tyndall to proceed to trial.
If convicted as charged, Tyndall could face up to 64 years in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
In January, a federal judge in Los Angeles granted final approval of a $215-million class-action settlement between USC and some of the women who claim they were sexually abused by Tyndall.
The settlement provides all class members — about 17,000 former patients who received women’s health services from Tyndall — compensation of $2,500 and up. Patients who are willing to provide further details about their experience could be eligible for additional compensation up to $250,000.
Tyndall and USC have also been sued in state court by about 600 alleged victims, many of whom claim they were inappropriately fondled or photographed by Tyndall under the guise of gynecological exams. Many have also
accused him of making sexually charged comments during the exams.
Alleged victims have contended that the university received numerous complaints of Tyndall’s alleged sexually abusive behavior dating back to at least 1988 and actively and deliberately concealed Tyndall’s actions.
Attorneys for some victims have argued that following an internal investigation of complaints against Tyndall in 2016, the university paid Tyndall a substantial financial settlement so he would quietly resign three years ago.
USC officials have denied any cover-up, and Tyndall has denied any wrongdoing.
USC has said it has put new protocols in place at its Student Health Center to ensure any complaints are investigated and resolved by appropriate university officials and authorities. Additionally, the university said it has hired female board-certified physicians and introduced patient education materials about sensitive examinations.
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