Six Women Filed A Lawsuit Against USC, Alleging Sexual Abuse From Campus Gynecologist

The University of Southern California is facing lawsuits from six women who claimed that they were sexually victimized by a campus gynecologist. Dr. George Tyndall, who worked at USC’s student health clinic for 30 years, was accused of touching patients inappropriately and asking unnecessary questions about their sexual lives, reported Fortune.

The Los Angeles Times reported that in earlier interviews with Dr. Tyndall, he defended his examinations, claiming they were “thorough and appropriate, adding that frank and honest dialogue about sex lives was part of his way of treating late adolescents who were enrolled at USC.”

USC has been criticized for its handling of this sexual misconduct allegations on campus. The school received reports in the early 2000s about Tyndall’s behavior. In 2003, one woman alleged that that Dr. George Tyndall forced his ungloved hand into her vagina during an examination while making vulgar remarks. Another woman said in 2008 that the doctor had groped her breasts and told her she “likely had AIDS,” reported the Los Angeles Times.

Tyndall was not suspended until 2016,  however, when a nurse reported him to the campus rape crisis center — and he was reportedly paid during his absence from the clinic while the school conducted an investigation.

The Los Angeles Times’s investigation into Tyndall found that USC had paid off Tyndall to resign quietly in 2017 with an undisclosed sum of cash.

On Monday, USC Provost Michael Quick issued a letter addressing the allegations of a cover-up.

“[…] some of you have written, and I have seen media reports allege, that the university leadership knew about Dr. Tyndall’s misbehavior for a long time, and that we covered it up for the sake of the USC brand. This is absolutely untrue. It is unthinkable. It is true that our system failed, but it is important that you know that this claim of a cover-up is patently false. We would never knowingly put students in harm’s way.”

Quick stated that "settlements never sound appropriate," but they are often “the most expedient way to remove someone from the university." Additionally, Quick also announced that the university would investigate claims that Tyndall targeted mainly Chinese and other international students.

The allegations against Tyndall and USC’s payment come at the heels of Michigan State’s $500 million settlement with 332 victims of USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar.