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As the only gynecologist treating patients at the University of Southern California’s student health clinic, Dr. George Tyndall was allowed to sexually abuse and molest a steady stream of students for nearly three decades, according to allegations raised in a new class action lawsuit.
In a complaint (PDF) filed by an unnamed female student in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on June 5, USC is accused of virtually feeding victims to Dr. Tyndall, who was only forced to retire last year, despite years of complaints about inappropriate behavior while providing treatment at the USC student health center.
The case is one of a growing number of sexual abuse lawsuits filed against Tyndall, USC and its board of trustees. This latest complaint seeks class action status for all women who were examined by Tyndall during his 30 years at the university.
The main plaintiff, identified only as Jane Doe, indicates that she saw Tyndall six times. Although the former student found the gynecologist’s behavior disturbing, she indicates in the complaint that she had no choice but to see him for treatment at the USC student health center.
“While attending USC as a student, Plaintiff was forced to repeatedly seek medical treatment from Tyndall, due to the fact that he was the only full-time gynecologist on staff at USC’s Student Health Clinic,” the lawsuit states. “Tyndall used this position of trust and authority to sexually abuse Plaintiff on multiple occasions, by engaging in acts that include but are not limited to: forcing Plaintiff to strip naked, groping Plaintiff’s breasts, digitally penetrating Plaintiff’s vagina and engaging in verbal discussions about irrelevant and inappropriate sexual topics, for no legitimate medical purpose and for no other reason than to satisfy his own prurient sexual desires.”
The lawsuit notes that Tyndall targeted young students, particularly foreign students or those who were unfamiliar with gynecological exams due to culture or age. USC was repeatedly warned about Tyndall’s behavior, according to the lawsuit, which indicates that the first complaints were recorded as early as the 1990s.
Late last month, USC President C. L. Max Nikias agreed to resign just days after he sent a letter to students and staff announcing the results of an investigation into allegations that Tyndall engaged in inappropriate behavior with USC students.
Tyndall was allowed to retire in June 2017, and to date faces no criminal charges, despite dozens of claims that he assaulted female patients, and made both sexually suggestive and racist comments for years.
While USC indicated that it could find no evidence of criminal conduct, the University acknowledged in the statement last month that Dr. Tyndall’s behavior was unacceptable, and should not have been tolerated for so long.
Tyndall’s behavior was only addressed by the university after a nurse, frustrated with the lack of response to numerous complaints, took the issue to the campus’s rape crisis center. That led to an investigation of Tyndall, along with a suspension of his duties, and eventually a deal between Tyndall and USC that culminated in his retirement.
The University only reported his activities to the California Medical Board in March, after Tyndall contacted USC indicating that he wanted his job back. However, the complaints date back to the early 2000’s.
While the Los Angeles Police Department has been contacted about the incident by the university and attorneys representing some of his alleged victims, no criminal charges have yet been filed.