Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Police Department announced that it’s launching a criminal investigation into the former campus gynecologist at the University of Southern California, who’s been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women.
According to the Los Angeles Times, police are currently investigating 52 complaints of misconduct against Dr. George Tyndall. Prior to this week’s announcement, the Times had published a report about Tyndall’s long history of alleged misconduct. This prompted USC to set up a special hotline to field complaints about the doctor — which has received calls from more than 410 people, just this month.
“The complaints began in the 1990s, when co-workers alleged [Tyndall] was improperly photographing students’ genitals,” the Times‘ report said. “In the years that followed, patients and nursing staff accused him again and again of ‘creepy’ behavior, including touching women inappropriately during pelvic exams and making sexually suggestive remarks about their bodies.”
According to the Times, the most serious crime under investigation by the LAPD is finger penetration. “Witnesses to Tyndall’s exams said that he frequently commented on the tightness of patients’ vaginal muscles, made inappropriate remarks about their sex lives, and touched patients inappropriately during breast and pelvic exams,” the Times reported. “The physician routinely inserted one to two fingers in patients after voicing concern that a speculum might not fit, and commented on their bodies as he probed them, the witnesses told the Times.”
Though Tyndall’s alleged misconduct spans decades, he continued practicing until 2016. He was supposedly suspended after a nurse went to the campus rape center, but the Times reported that top administrators actually allowed Tyndall to “resign quietly with a financial payout.”
In a secret deal last summer, top USC administrators allowed Tyndall to resign quietly with a financial payout. The school didn’t report him to the medical board until after The Times started questioning university employees about him. (7/9) https://t.co/ulsCKmVnwc
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) May 17, 2018
As of this week, both the university and Tyndall are facing 27 lawsuits.
LAPD Captain Billy Hayes said the investigation’s current focus is determining whether criminal acts were committed against those who’ve accused Tyndall of misconduct; however, Hayes “did not rule out whether the investigation would widen to include university administrators and other USC staff familiar with Tyndall’s conduct,” the Times reported.
Attorney Gloria Allred says USC was told as early as 1991 about Dr George Tyndall and his preying on young women at the student health center. Filing lawsuit on behalf of student Daniella Mohazab who says doctor violated her during STD test @NBCLA pic.twitter.com/2UHleWy2It
— Conan Nolan (@conanNBCLA) May 22, 2018
In the weeks following the revelations about Tyndall, USC President C.L. Max Nikias stepped down from his post. The resignation prompted Rick Caruso, chairman of the USC Board of Trustees, to issue a statement. He wrote that the board has “heard the message that something is broken and that urgent profound actions are needed.”
Tyndall has maintained his innocence, even writing a letter to the Times explaining that he “had heard of only one patient complaint before March 2016 — an allegation that he did not wear gloves during a pelvic exam.” Tyndall also wrote that “patients sometimes fabricate stories.”
Anyone with information or evidence on Tyndall is encouraged to reach out to the LAPD.