A creepy feeling, a sideways glance – patients of accused former USC gynecologist share their stories

In his 27 years at the University of Southern California’s student health clinic, Dr. George Tyndall treated tens of thousands of patients he called “Trojan women.” Recent allegations of serial misconduct by the gynecologist have affected a generation of alumnae.

In the wake of a Times report detailing three decades of complaints against Tyndall, more than 400 people have contacted a USC hotline. The accusations against Tyndall date to the early 1990s and include reports that he photographed patients’ genitals, touched women inappropriately during pelvic exams and made suggestive and sometimes crude remarks about their bodies.

The doctor has denied any wrongdoing and could not be reached for comment on this story. He told The Times in a series of interviews this spring that his exams were thorough but always medically appropriate. In a recent letter to the newspaper, he said, “Patients sometimes fabricate stories.”

The Times interviewed more than two dozen alumnae and former clinic employees, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity. Their experiences span three decades and vary widely. Some women said they felt Tyndall’s exams were inappropriate and complained immediately. Others said they were troubled by his conduct at the time, but were not familiar enough with appropriate gynecological care to object. Still others said they could not recall the details of his exams and have been left wondering whether he harmed them. Here are some of their accounts:

If you were a former patient of Dr. George Tyndall, contact Harriet Ryan at harriet.ryan@latimes.com, Matt Hamilton at matt.hamilton@latimes.com or Sarah Parvini at sarah.parvini@latimes.com.

Some accounts contain graphic content and explicit language.

Diana Bohan

Tenderness in her hips brought Diana Bohan into the student health clinic in the fall of 1992.

The architecture student was assigned to see Tyndall and explained that she had walked a lot on her summer trip to Europe and probably had bruised herself. Tyndall, she said, decided a pelvic exam was necessary, saying he needed to see “structural problems” within.

“I didn’t know that I could question that, thinking it was kind of weird because I’m not here for this type of appointment,” recalled Bohan, who was then 25.

As an assistant stood by, “my gut feeling was this is not professional,” Bohan said. After the pelvic exam, Tyndall said he detected nothing unusual and prescribed physical therapy.

“I recall thinking, ‘Wow, I had to get through a pelvic exam just to get through to this,” Bohan said. She did not tell anyone about the appointment until recently.

“I was thinking … maybe I should call USC and see if he had done this to anyone else. This was years later,” Bohan said, and “I couldn’t forget that appointment,”

She didn’t call the university.

“I kept thinking — who would I call? Who would listen to me after all this time?”

Former USC student

Following a sexual assault, a woman home on summer break wanted to see a doctor but didn’t want her parents to find out. She waited until her sophomore year started and made an appointment to see a gynecologist at the campus health center.

Now 23, she had seen only one gynecologist before, a female doctor who treated her for menstrual issues as a young teenager.

During the exam at USC, she said, Tyndall inserted his fingers into her vagina prior to using a speculum.

"No one ever told me that that is not normal,” she said. “You go to see the health center because you don’t have any other options, and you trust those people to treat you with the same respect that your hometown doctor might. So it didn’t even occur to me that it would be wrong.”

Later, when she met with Tyndall to go over her results, she said, he indicated that she had a sexually transmitted infection and asked how many partners she had. “One,” she said, before stumbling on her words. She corrected herself and explained that the answer was technically two, because she had been raped. She tried not to cry.

“I remember he, like, got really … sweet is the wrong word, it was soft. He was soft,” she said. He offered to give her part of the necessary medication for free. “That made me forget about everything else. I was so grateful that I wouldn’t have to have that conversation with parents or find the money that I came out feeling pretty good about him.”

When friends would question the fact that the center’s gynecologist was a man, she would tell them it was OK.

“I’m trying not to feel guilty about that,” she said. “I know it’s the university’s fault and they should have done something, but it’s hard not to let your brain go that way.”

Chelsea Wu

Chelsea Wu was, in her own words, “naive” when she walked into the exam room at USC’s student health clinic two years ago. The sophomore, then 19, had never been to a doctor without her parents by her side. She had never seen a gynecologist.

“I was blindly trusting of doctors. I pretty much followed whatever they say,” Wu recalled.

Much of Tyndall’s behavior during her appointment, she said, struck her as odd: He asked prying questions about her sex life, showed an unsettling interest in her Chinese heritage and made comments about the tone of her pelvic muscle while putting his fingers inside her. “You have a very muscular canal,” he said. “You must be a runner.”

She said he asked her a series of questions, including the number of sexual partners she had, and told her that she could decline to reply at any time, but she answered.

“I thought it was normal,” she said. “Being so young, I didn’t have a framework for what was acceptable.”

When they returned to his office after the pelvic exam, Tyndall asked her to sit next to him at his desk and quizzed her about her heritage, she said. She told him she had lived in China and the U.S., and he told her that many Chinese patients had come to him not knowing much about sex.

“He was saying how all his Chinese students loved him,” she said. “I didn’t understand all this [interest] in China. It took 15 or 20 minutes, longer than my pelvic exam.”

Wu, who graduated last year, came away thinking Tyndall was an “odd” but “well meaning” physician and brushed off the experience — until she read The Times’ reports.

Former USC student

Following a sexual assault, a woman home on summer break wanted to see a doctor but didn’t want her parents to find out. She waited until her sophomore year started and made an appointment to see a gynecologist at the campus health center.

Now 23, she had seen only one gynecologist before, a female doctor who treated her for menstrual issues as a young teenager.

During the exam at USC, she said, Tyndall inserted his fingers into her vagina prior to using a speculum.

"No one ever told me that that is not normal,” she said. “You go to see the health center because you don’t have any other options, and you trust those people to treat you with the same respect that your hometown doctor might. So it didn’t even occur to me that it would be wrong.”

Later, when she met with Tyndall to go over her results, she said, he indicated that she had a sexually transmitted infection and asked how many partners she had. “One,” she said, before stumbling on her words. She corrected herself and explained that the answer was technically two, because she had been raped. She tried not to cry.

“I remember he, like, got really … sweet is the wrong word, it was soft. He was soft,” she said. He offered to give her part of the necessary medication for free. “That made me forget about everything else. I was so grateful that I wouldn’t have to have that conversation with parents or find the money that I came out feeling pretty good about him.”

When friends would question the fact that the center’s gynecologist was a man, she would tell them it was OK.

“I’m trying not to feel guilty about that,” she said. “I know it’s the university’s fault and they should have done something, but it’s hard not to let your brain go that way.”

Former USC student

Tyndall’s casual manner seemed genuine to the senior, who saw him in 2015 to get her first pap smear, be checked for sexually transmitted diseases and discuss birth control.

When the appointment began, the gynecologist inserted his finger and was “poking around,” she said. “He told me I was tight.”

She said Tyndall told her, “You must be a runner,” acting as if he wanted to be her friend.

“I felt like we were hanging out,” she said. “It didn’t feel as business as usual. I felt like he was trying to talk to me when I was naked and my legs were spread open on the table.”

She didn’t complain to USC. The exam was fast and Tyndall “smooths things over by being very business afterward.”

“I thought maybe I was being sensitive,” she said. “My first instinct was to leave and not go back to the situation and give him the benefit of the doubt.”

She never saw Tyndall again. She said she found a gynecologist off campus and since has realized what she experienced was wrong.

In hindsight, she said, she’s distressed and angry that other students endured the same thing, that Tyndall’s remarks were stock lines he used on women, that complaints about him were ignored.

“It’s kind of chilling to know,” she said. “To know it happened to so many other women and that he had the opportunity to have full rein of control.”

Alexis Rodriguez

The first red flag, said Alexis Rodriguez, was a Playboy magazine on Tyndall’s office desk.

In 1995, the then-23-year-old had gone to the campus health clinic for treatment of vaginal pain. After she put her feet in the stirrups, Tyndall diagnosed her condition as a Bartholin’s abscess. He said he needed to drain it, she recalled. She said he did not put on gloves or use an anesthetic.

“He nicked me with the scalpel,” she said; the pain was excruciating and she recoiled on the table.

She said that when Tyndall realized how upset she was, he told her that usually patients didn’t mind the pain because of the immediate relief the lancing brought. He did not continue with the procedure and told her, “You should go see someone else,” she said.

“I was feistier than he expected, and it rattled him.”

She had the abscess lanced by another USC physician outside the clinic under “twilight” anesthesia. Months later, she returned to the clinic for a non-gynecological visit. She looked at her chart and started reading Tyndall’s account of the visit.

She said he’d written that she had refused treatment and was “difficult.”

“It kinda bothered me that I was being called this hysterical woman,” she said. “It was a mischaracterization.”

She complained to the doctor who was treating her that day and later filed a complaint with the clinic.

She mentioned the Playboy, the botched lancing and Tyndall’s failure to use gloves.

“This was ’95. The AIDS thing was not that far in the past,” she said.

Tyndall, in an interview with The Times, said that he always used gloves when examining patients.

No one from USC interviewed her, she said, but a clinic administrator wrote back and apologized, indicating that the “difficult” wording would be removed from her file.

Rodriguez, 46, said she could not locate the original letter, but did provide The Times with one she wrote in 1995 praising the doctor who successfully treated her. In the letter, Rodriguez mentions the student health clinic and her “terrible experience with a doctor on staff there.”

As a law enforcement officer, it’s her opinion that “USC should cooperate more than anyone has ever seen an entity cooperate” in any police investigation of Tyndall.

Anita Thornton

Anita Thornton frequently chaperoned for Tyndall as a medical assistant at the student health clinic from 1991 to 2010.

Recently, she had trouble maintaining her composure as she recalled the “disgusting” physician.

“I’ve been holding onto this for many years, and I just get choked up thinking about it,” she said. “The man is sick.”

Thornton said she found a number of his practices inappropriate — and different from how other gynecologists worked.

She said that during breast exams, Tyndall would squeeze the patients’ breasts tightly and say he wanted to see if any liquid would come out. At the start of the pelvic exams, she said, he put his fingers inside the patients, then stood up and “played” inside their bodies. She said she saw that “every day.”

He did rectal exams on some women and she recalled hearing him once comment that “black women have tight butt muscles.”

Medical assistants complained to management about a ceiling-high curtain that Tyndall would put between the chaperones and the exam table that shielded what he was doing. Sometimes, Thornton said, he had already begun the pelvic exam before she got to the room.

Tyndall has said he used the curtain to obscure the view into the room through a large window.

In the mid-1990s, Thornton was one of the chaperones who reported Tyndall’s photographing of patients’ genitals. She said he had three cameras in his office — a colposcopy machine, another that looked like a Polaroid, and a black camera he kept locked in a cabinet: “It was like a professional Canon-type camera with a lens on it.”

Tyndall told The Times he had two cameras and used them for legitimate medical reasons.

Tyndall stapled some photos in patients’ charts and put others in a box under his desk, Thornton said, and when she asked him why he was taking photos, he replied, “I’m going to do some research on the girls.”

“I reported him because it was not right how he treated the girls,” she said. “I said I don’t want to work with him.”

Kathleen Ritterbush

The 24-year-old graduate student went to Tyndall for birth control in 2008. He did a pelvic exam and wrote her only a four-month prescription.

“It was so flabbergasting to me,” Kathleen Ritterbush said. “I was like, ‘What the hell?’”

Other patients have told The Times that Tyndall provided only short-duration prescriptions, rather than yearlong ones, that required them to return to the clinic often.

Ritterbush was swamped that academic year with classes, an excavation in the Nevada desert and “schmoozing” donors for USC at alumni events. In June, she flew to Ohio for a once-every-four-years meeting for paleontologists. But “the clock was ticking” on her birth control and she had to leave during the conference to go to a nearby Planned Parenthood clinic.

Now a paleontologist at the University of Utah, Ritterbush was eating lunch when a colleague mentioned news coverage of a USC gynecologist

“As soon as I saw his picture and read his name, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, this guy,’” said Ritterbush, 34.

She has been trying to recall the details of her pelvic exam. The comments and inappropriate conduct alleged by other patients “sound very familiar,” she said, “but I can’t say for certain if it occurred, and that’s what is so frustrating.”

“I wish I had a hypnotist or a time machine or something,” Ritterbush said. “I am an analytical person, and I just want to know the answer.”

Kastalia Medrano

“Not medically necessary” was how Kastalia Medrano describes Tyndall’s explanation of how to do a breast self-exam.

She started seeing the gynecologist when she was a senior at USC and had multiple appointments with him over the course of the school year.

During one visit, Tyndall explained how to check herself for lumps that could be a sign of breast cancer. But the detail he used stood out to her as an “odd encounter.”

The doctor was “describing how I should be in the shower and I should be wet and covered in soap suds,” she said.

Medrano, 27, thought the conversation was “too long, too much description.”

Still, she saw him every few months for checkups and birth control. During one appointment, she said, the conversation again took a turn: The two were discussing issues of sexual health when Tyndall suggested a sex shop Medrano should visit.

“He described different kinds of dildos that I might be able to get. He really emphasized the ones that looked more human looking, more realistic looking. I remember him saying ‘veiny,’” she recalled.

Medrano said she laughed it off, even though she was uncomfortable.

“I never talked to anyone about it,” said Medrano, who graduated in 2013. “I wish it had occurred to me that he may have been doing worse stuff to other people.”

Meggie Kwait

Tyndall seemed preoccupied with Meggie Kwait’s sexual encounters with both men and women, she said.

During a 2008 appointment, he asked why so much time had elapsed since her last pelvic exam. Kwait told him that her hometown doctor had said it was not necessary because she had not had penetrative sex with a man.

“Oh, so you’re a virgin,” Tyndall replied. When she objected to the label, he said, “But let’s be real. No penis, no sex.”

Kwait, 31, said he squeezed her breasts roughly, calling them “lovely and very symmetrical.” Kwait said he inserted his fingers inside her and commented, “I bet you’re pretty used to this.”

At the end of the appointment, she said, Tyndall urged her to lose weight and told her that if she became skinnier, she could probably “get a guy instead of a girlfriend.”

She completed a feedback form at the health center and left in tears. She included Tyndall’s comments about her sexual activity and her appearance and complained about his demeanor.

She did not recall ever receiving a response.

“I wish now that I had escalated this then,” Kwait said. “I feel horrible that there were another 10 years of women who were victimized by this man.”

Former USC student

She went to see the clinic’s only full-time gynecologist, even after having been warned as a freshman in 1990 that Tyndall was known for “always doing a rectal exam.”

“When I went in, I was wary,” said the student, now a Los Angeles lawyer.

It was not her first pelvic exam, and she said it began with Tyndall discussing things that any other doctor would discuss.

“But he was weird, creepy,” she said. When he initiated a rectal exam, she sat “straight up” and told him it was not necessary.

“He didn’t argue with me,” she said.

Tyndall’s preference for rectal exams became a running joke among students, she said. The doctor did not respond when asked by The Times about doing rectal exams.

When she was a resident advisor in 1991 and 1992, the woman said, she would warn her residents about Tyndall.

“If you are given an appointment with this doctor, we recommend you ask for a nurse practitioner,” she told students, who viewed Tyndall's exams as an uncomfortable hurdle to getting birth control.

"People would grin and bear it to get the prescriptions," she said.

Former USC student

At first, she didn’t know what was appropriate during a pelvic exam. The woman, who attended USC as both an undergraduate and law student, said Tyndall routinely inserted his fingers in her vagina, often twice a visit. He required her to fully disrobe so he could conduct breast exams, she said, and always commented on the attractiveness of her breasts, her slender body and her Asian background.

She saw Tyndall three times or more in some of her seven years at USC and grew increasingly uncomfortable with each appointment. When she finally asked if she could see a female doctor instead, the clinic told her no one was available.

After she read The Times’ report, she realized how abnormal Tyndall’s behavior was, she said.

“He’d stick his fingers inside me pretty much every time. It was always this creep factor.… He’d check me twice. He’d stick his fingers up there and then we’d talk and he’d say, ‘Let me check again.’ ”

During breast exams, he would comment on her figure, she said, and would also tell her that his wife was Asian and petite like her.

“He would squeeze my nipples,” the woman said. “He’d tell me, ‘You have nice full breasts’ ... ‘Not every Asian has nice big breasts.’”

In hindsight, she said, she “probably should have complained.”

Former USC student

Just as the exam began, Tyndall asked the chaperone to go get a speculum. That’s what a 35-year-old accountant remembers about her appointment 15 years ago as an undergraduate at the USC student health clinic.

When the chaperone insisted the instrument was in a drawer in the exam room, Tyndall said it wasn’t. The former patient recalled that the two argued for a few minutes before the chaperone left.

“Within five seconds of her leaving the room, he found [the speculum],” the woman said. “I remember thinking it was odd.”

She said she isn’t sure what occurred during the exam, but just as Tyndall concluded, the chaperone returned with a speculum.

After the doctor left, the chaperone “walked over to me and said, ‘You know he’s not supposed to perform the exam without me in the room.’”

“I was mortified,” she said. “He was 100% trying to get her out of the room.”

The woman said she started going to Planned Parenthood and never saw Tyndall again.

Former USC law student

Complications related to an IUD brought the woman to the health clinic a few weeks before her 2015 graduation. Tyndall performed a pelvic exam with a chaperone beside her.

“He asked, with his fingers inside of me, ‘Are you a runner?’ and I thought he was just making conversation,” said the woman, now 29 and a corporate attorney.

“Sometimes,’ she replied.

“Well, your pelvic muscles are really tight.”

The comment and the way he was moving his fingers from “side to side” seemed wrong, she said, but “I thought, well, there’s a nurse in the room.”

At the next appointment, Tyndall removed the IUD. As she lay on the exam table in a fog of pain, she said, she heard the doctor ask if he could keep it. He held it up and she saw that it was covered in “blood and whatever else.”

“I didn’t know what to say,” she said.

Since learning about the allegations against Tyndall, the woman said, “I am in just the beginning stages of understanding that something terrible happened to me.”

Sahra Sulaiman

It was a copy of Cosmopolitan. Sahra Sulaiman, a doctoral student in international relations in the mid-2000s, said she was telling Tyndall about an issue she was having with fibroids when he opened one of his desk drawers and took out the magazine.

“‘Do you want to read this Cosmo article about stopping your period forever?’” she recalls him asking.

Sulaiman, now an advocacy journalist in Los Angeles, was bowled over: “I was like, ‘Are you a doctor? Is this where you get your medical information?’”

She said she decided not to let him perform a pelvic exam and did not see Tyndall again.

Selamawit Mulugeta

It was the small talk that occurred after her pelvic exam that Selamawit Mulugeta found odd.

She’d gone to see Tyndall in 2014 for vaginal pain. She felt him inserting his fingers inside her vagina before he used the speculum.

When he was done with the exam, she met him at his office.

“He talked about his wife, who was from the Philippines, and how she never had a father figure and that he served as a father figure as well as a husband,” she said. “I felt like those were details I didn’t need to know.”

A few days later, Tyndall got in touch with Mulugeta and told her results showed she had a yeast infection. He gave her medications. At the time, Mulugeta didn’t think much about her examination. Her gut told her something didn’t feel right, but she hesitated.

“Initially, I didn’t want to see him again,” she said. “I told my sister that what he told me about his wife was weird and that he creeped me out.”

Former USC student

Experiencing pelvic pain, the psychology major was seeing a gynecologist for the first time.

Tyndall asked the woman, then 19, if she was sexually active and inquired about her ethnicity, she said. She answered that she was half Middle Eastern. Tyndall then brought up his wife, saying: “Her son took her virginity,” the former student recalled.

“Do you get it?” she said Tyndall asked, explaining that the child’s father had such a small penis that sexual intercourse had not torn her hymen — when she gave birth, the baby did.

As the 2010 exam continued, the student said, Tyndall told her he was going to put his fingers inside her so he could ensure the speculum would fit.

He put one finger, then another. “You know what, I think you could fit three fingers,” he told her.

“I made eye contact with the nurse, and she …looked at me remorsefully,” she said.

After the exam, Tyndall told her to wait while he spoke over the phone with another patient.

Still in the room, he read out the other patient’s ID number and looked up her medical report. He told the woman that the reason her vagina had a “fishy odor” was that her pH levels were unusual.

“I was so mortified,” the student said.

Later that year, she said, she had an ovarian cyst that burst. The doctor who treated her said that likely explained her previous pelvic pain. She wondered how Tyndall had missed that diagnosis.

After reading the article about Tyndall, she said, she filed an anonymous complaint with USC and has since filed a lawsuit.

“I called my boyfriend and started crying,” she said. “I felt ashamed that I let that happen to me. More than anything, I was mad at USC for allowing that to happen.”

Chia-An Wen

Chia-An Wen saw Tyndall to get a refill on her birth control pills. The doctor, she said, started asking her how often she had anal and oral sex with her boyfriend.

“I felt my face heat up when he asked,” she said. “It weirded me out and I was confused why he was asking. I felt because he was a doctor, I had to answer.”

Wen said Tyndall gave her prescriptions for birth control as well as an emergency contraceptive.

“That’s not normal, and I didn’t need it,” she said.

Shortly after that 2015 appointment, Wen told two friends who also attended USC about what happened.

“My friends asked who I had seen, and when I mentioned Tyndall’s name, they warned me,” she said.

Wen said her friends also had bad experiences with Tyndall and told her not to go to him again.

“I can’t believe he was still allowed to see patients for so long,” she said.

Daniella Mohazab

The 2016 exam left Daniella Mohazab feeling violated.

Mohazab, who has sued USC, said at a news conference that the gynecologist told her that Filipinas like her were "good in bed" and pressed her for details of her sex life. He examined her without a female nurse or other chaperone present and put his ungloved fingers inside her body, she alleged in the suit.

Mohazab, who was 19 at the time of the appointment, said Tyndall instructed her to undress from the bottom down and “stood there watching while I did so and smiled.”

“He then instructed me to lie on the examining table, which I did,” she said. He put her feet in the stirrups. The doctor inserted two fingers and felt around.

“He said, ‘I think we better use some lube’ with a snide look on his face,” Mohazab said. She scowled at the memory.

He moved his fingers for a prolonged period, telling her this was part of an STD test, she said, and did not use a speculum or any medical tools.

“He then stuck a swab into me as he smiled. He then put it in a vial and said we were done,” she said.

Tyndall has said that he always used gloves when examining patients.

Former USC graduate student

What stood out was a request Tyndall made “very casually” to the young woman who had gone to the clinic in 2010 for cramping and heavy bleeding during her period.

She doesn’t remember much about the pelvic exam, she said, but what Tyndall asked her remains vivid: The next time you have a bad period, bring me a blood clot.

The gynecologist did not offer her a container or tell her to deliver it to the clinic lab, she said.

“He was like just … put it in a Ziploc and bring it to me,” she said. She never fulfilled his request.

After she read about Tyndall in the Times, the memory “sort of exploded.”

“It was only in retrospect and in context that I understood how crazy it was,” she said.

Since she learned that there were complaints against the doctor starting in 1991, she’s felt anger at USC.

“I should not have been in the room with him. He should not have been seeing patients,” she said.

Cate Guggino

As a women’s health nurse practitioner in Ithaca, N.Y., Cate Guggino has performed thousands of pelvic exams. But until recently, she said, she had never fully come to terms with her own exam at the hands of Tyndall.

She was 25 and a theater major when she went to the clinic for a checkup in the fall of 2001 or early 2002. Tyndall took her history and told her to get undressed behind a curtain in his office.

As the examination started, she said, he put his fingers inside her vagina and pressed on one specific area. She cried out, and he expressed surprise that it hurt. He did it again, and she cried out again. “I thought you said you weren’t a virgin,” he said.

Guggino told him she had had sex before, and he replied, “Well, your hymen is still intact.”

When she asked how that was possible, he shrugged off the question. Guggino said she took Tyndall at his word, but found something about him off.

Over the next two decades — through her nurse practitioner training and nearly a decade as a women’s healthcare practitioner — she never questioned Tyndall’s assessment.

“It was almost like there were two parts of the brain that weren’t talking,” she said. “There was the story he told me and there was the part that knows all this stuff about women’s health.”

When she read stories in The Times of Tyndall’s alleged misconduct, she said, “it sort of bridged the two parts of my brain.”

“Something I had chalked up to a weird quirk specific to my visit was staring back at me from the pages of a major news outlet,” she wrote in an account she sent The Times.

Looking back, she said, she believes Tyndall was touching an area called the G-spot, which when stimulated can cause sexual arousal.

“I think about how much trust [patients] put in me and how hard sometimes those exams are for them,” she said. “The idea that someone would exploit that position for their own pleasure….I don’t really have words for how despicable I find that.”

Former USC student

The young woman had a history of sexual abuse, and “just being naked with someone who is a stranger was difficult,” she said. Tyndall was the first gynecologist she’d ever seen, and she said he tried to make her more comfortable by telling her what he was doing.

In the first of what would be multiple wellness visits over four years, she said, he inserted a finger into her before using a speculum.

“He was making sure I wasn’t too tight. That’s what he said,” the woman recalled.

She said he would ask her, “’You don’t need a chaperone, do you?’ ” At the time, she said, she didn’t think she did.

During one exam, she said, Tyndall checked her entire body for moles; at another, he inserted his finger in her vagina and asked if she was a runner. She wasn’t.

The woman recalled that at the end of an appointment, Tyndall would pull out an “easy” button from Staples and say, “How did the visit go?” Patients were expected to push it.

After reading about Tyndall in The Times, she said, “I started hyperventilating. I thought I was going to throw up.

“Reading the things he did and realizing the things he did to me were inappropriate … I just couldn’t understand how someone could be allowed to do this for 30 years.”

Ray Carroll

As a freshman, Ray Carroll wanted birth control but had questions. A campus health clinic questionnaire asked about the gender of previous sexual partners.

A double-major in creative writing and gender studies who does not identify with a gender, Carroll informed Tyndall about male and female partners. The doctor asked about the females, delving into specifics that did not seem “medically relevant,” said Carroll, now 22 and living in New York.

There were inappropriate questions too, Carroll said. “How often my boyfriend and I had anal sex, if at all. I told him we didn’t, but he still pursued a line of questioning.

“He wasn’t concerned with my actual experience,” Carroll said. “He was just trying to have a locker-room conversation.”

During a second appointment in the spring of 2015, Carroll said, Tyndall asked about a boyfriend and wondered about other sex partners. Carroll found his interest “irrelevant,” and far from the matter at hand: How the birth control medication was affecting Carroll’s body.

Former USC student

The diagnosis seemed strange. A dramatic arts student who had appointments with Tyndall during her freshman and sophomore years said he once told her he’d detected a lump in her cervix and that she might have human papillomavirus.

She questioned the finding because she had been vaccinated against HPV.

Now 27 and living in L.A., the 2013 graduate also recalled an appointment where she told Tyndall about having difficulty climaxing during sex. Tyndall used his fingers to help her locate her G-spot.

He would probe and ask, “Can you feel anything?” she said. She did not recall having a chaperone in the room. Next, he suggested she perform Kegel exercises, where a woman expands and contracts the pelvic floor muscles; she said Tyndall wanted her to perform the exercises with his finger inside her.

“I'm pretty sure I tried,” she said, before telling him, “No more, we're done here.”

Looking back, she feels violated.

"When I saw his picture [in the news], my heart shattered. I wanted to scrub myself with lye to get that memory of this man off of me."

Former USC student

She couldn’t really see Tyndall’s eyes because of the dark-lensed glasses he wore in the examination room. It struck the 18-year-old freshman as odd.

Once the 2010 exam began, Tyndall instructed her to remove her top and “told me my breasts were perky,” she said.

During the pelvic exam, he stuck his fingers inside and said he didn’t know if the speculum would fit, commenting on her “so so so so small” size, she said.

“That was my first gynecology exam, but I guess that experience tripped me into a survival mechanism. I zoned out, my body went numb and you try to get to the other end of it,” the woman said. “It was painful.”

Her second visit roughly two years later was a repeat of the first.

“I tried to rationalize it — you are just … being immature or naive and distrusting. And I thought that at the time, this has to be OK.”

Now she feels rage. She has difficulty categorizing what happened: It was a medical exam, but it left her feeling violated.

“You are so vulnerable when you are in there,” she said.

Former USC student

She wanted to see a female gynecologist, but was told the wait was two months. Tyndall was available almost immediately.

The premed student said the gynecologist talked a lot about himself, telling her about his Filipina wife and that he had blown away his medical school classmates by memorizing the Krebs cycle in a day.

“He was ridiculous and creepy at the same time,” said the woman, now 34 and working for a nonprofit.

She decided to forgo the pelvic exam, but he then called a chaperone into the room.

“When he did that, it was kind of like, OK, he’s not going to do anything untoward,” she said.

During the exam, she said, he put his fingers inside her at least five times.

“I knew that was not normal,” she said. She started breathing heavily and asking when the exam would end. When she looked at the chaperone, she said, the woman’s face was impassive.

“The fact she was there kind of normalized the experience,” she said. “It made me think if she’s not saying anything, then it’s fine.”

After reading the accounts of other women, she said, “it just validated that I wasn’t wrong about it.”





Times staff writers Melissa Etehad and Joe Mozingo contributed to this report.

Support our journalism

Please consider subscribing today to support stories like this one. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 99 cents for the first four weeks. Already a subscriber? Your support makes our work possible. Thank you.