USC sued by former students over gynecologist accused of sexual misconduct

Xinhua
The University of Southern California was sued by five former students in two lawsuits over the scandal of the school's gynecologist who was accused of sexual misconduct.
Xinhua
AFP

The entrance to the Engemann Student Health Center on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC) is seen in Los Angeles, California on May 17, 2018. 

The University of Southern California was sued on Monday by five former students in two lawsuits over the scandal of the school's gynecologist who was accused of sexual misconduct to female patients.

In one of the two lawsuits, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, four former female students alleged Dr. George Tyndall as a "serial sexual predator." The plaintiffs said that they were sexually abused, harassed and molested at the hands of Tyndall.

"Despite the fact that USC has publicly admitted that it received numerous complaints of Tyndall's sexually abusive behavior, dating back to at least the year 2000, Defendant USC actively and deliberately concealed Tyndall's sexual abuse for years, continuing to grant Tyndall unfettered sexual access to the young female USC students in his care, all to protect Defendant USC's reputation and financial coffers," according to the lawsuit.

Tyndall worked as the only fulltime gynecologist at the USC student clinic for 27 years. According to the Los Angeles Times' investigation, the complaints of his repeated misconduct toward his young female patients started in early 1990s, including improperly photographing students' genitals, touching women inappropriately during pelvic exams and making sexually suggestive remarks about their bodies.

In the second lawsuit, a young woman who graduated from USC's law school in 2016 alleged Tyndall inserted his fingers inside her at the outset of a pelvic exam and remarked on the tightness of her genital muscles, Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.

According to Los Angeles Times, some colleagues of Tyndall feared that the gynecologist was targeting the university's growing population of Chinese students in recent years. Those Chinese students often had a limited knowledge of the English language and American medical norms.

The Consulate General of China in Los Angeles expressed its serious concern over the scandal Wednesday, requesting the university take serious steps to investigate the issue and protect Chinese students from illegal acts.

The Chinese Students and Scholars Association, a major Chinese student organization at USC, also issued a statement on Thursday, calling on Chinese students to bravely speak up any violations of their rights.

USC officials said they are actively seeking all facts and are dedicated to providing the most compassionate support they can. "Nothing is more important to me, or to our community, than the health and safety of our students," C. L. Max Nikias, president of the USC, said in a statement on Tuesday. Two long-time student health clinic administrators were fired by USC as a result of the scandal on Friday.


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