- George Tyndall was arrested on Wednesday and charged with sexually assaulting or abusing 16 patients at the University of Southern California student health center, Los Angeles police said.
- In total, more than 700 women have accused Tyndall of sexual abuse dating back decades. He has denied any wrongdoing.
- Tyndall practiced gynecology at USC for nearly 30 years. He was investigated in 2016, when a nurse went to USC’s rape crisis center in 2016 to report that he sexually abused her.
- Two women who have accused Tyndall of abuse told INSIDER they think USC needs to be held accountable.
- Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.
Two women who are among hundreds accusing a former University of Southern California gynecologist of sexual abuse say they want the school to be held accountable in the wake of his arrest.
George Tyndall was arrested on Wednesday and charged with sexually assaulting or abusing 16 patients at USC’s student health center, Los Angeles police said.
In total, more than 700 women have accused Tyndall of sexual abuse dating back decades. Tyndall, 72, has denied any wrongdoing.
Tyndall practiced gynecology at USC for nearly 30 years. The school launched an investigation into him in 2016, when a nurse went to USC’s rape crisis center in 2016 to report that he sexually abused her.
In 2017, Tyndall was reportedly able to leave USC quietly after the school reached a deal allowing him to leave with a financial settlement and a clean record with the medical board, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Tyndall’s medical license has been temporarily suspended but not revoked, according to the Medical Board of California’s website.
He told The Times that he regretted singing the deal with USC and later said he was victimized by fabricated allegations against him.
The school has agreed to a $215 million class-action settlement with some former patients, which could include women he examined, photographed, or videotaped nude. Individual payouts could range from $2,500 to $250,000, CNN reported.
‘USC is every bit as culpable for enabling someone like Tyndall’
- REUTERS/Mike Blake
Dana Loewy and Brennan Heil – two of more than 100 women represented by Andy Rubenstein of D. Miller & Associates in cases against Tyndall – spoke to INSIDER about their belief that USC needs to take more responsibility. Neither Loewy nor Heil is part of the $215 million class-action settlement.
Loewy said Tyndall is just “one aspect” of a larger problem – she said that the decades of abuse are part of a systematic issue at the university that blocked complaints from being surfaced earlier.
“Tyndall would not have been possible in this magnitude, this scope, if USC had proper procedures in place and if it was not such a place of secrecy,” she told INSIDER. “USC is every bit as culpable for enabling someone like Tyndall.”
In the case of gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, for example, the CEO of the US Olympic Committee, the president of Michigan State University, the school’s athletic director, and the former gymnastics coach were among several officials who resigned after Nassar was sentenced to decades in prison for molesting women and girls.
Loewy alleged that Tyndall performed an inappropriate examination on her in 1993, when she was a graduate student at USC. Loewy is not part of the 16 accusers Tyndall is facing charges for because the statue of limitations has expired on her case.
Loewy said she hopes the charges against Tyndall can affect longterm structural and fundamental change within USC so something similar won’t happen again in the future.
“I’m looking for vindication,” she said. “I will attend [court] if I can, but I will not get my day in court, and I wish I did.”
‘USC continues to shirk its responsibility for the abuse I and many other women endured’
In an op-ed written for USA Today earlier this month, Heil said a financial settlement is “further evidence of USC avoiding accountability and the school’s responsibility to acknowledge the pain and suffering of hundreds of women.”
“It hurts to know that USC continues to shirk its responsibility for the abuse I and many other women endured,” Heil wrote. “Tyndall took advantage of his circumstances, which USC tolerated and effectively sanctioned by its inaction.”
Heil, who graduated from USC in April, said in her op-ed that Tyndall molested her during an exam during her freshman year of college. She is not one of the 16 accusers Tyndall is facing charges for.
In a statement to INSIDER, Heil called Tyndall’s arrest a “relief”, but said alumni “continue to be hurt by USC’s inaction over the last 30 years.”
“Tyndall has been arrested. Now it’s time for USC to accept responsibility for their gross inaction so that 30 years of victimized women may start their healing process,” Heil told INSIDER in a statement. “The University’s efforts to shirk responsibility and work against the interest of their own ‘family’ goes against every narrative they feed to the press.”
She added: “There is a long road ahead, and we are ready to ensure all parties have been held accountable. This is just the beginning.”
USC has made changes to its compliant process and is cooperating with investigators
- ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
USC said in a statement to INSIDER that the school has cooperated with investigations into Tyndall.
“We care deeply about our community and our top priority continues to be the wellbeing of our students, health center patients and university community. We hope this arrest will be a healing step for former patients and our entire university,” the statement said.
Beyond the $215 million class-action settlement, the agreement requires USC to create “an independent women’s health advocate” to ensure complaints are investigated, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Per the settlement, USC must also conduct employee background checks that look into any prior history of sexual harassment allegations.
USC Interim President Wanda Austin released a statement on Wednesday saying that protocols at the school’s student health center and across the university have been changed “to ensure any complaints are investigated and resolved by appropriate university officials and authorities.”
“While the Tyndall case will continue for quite some time, it will not distract the university’s leadership from continuing to implement impactful campus reforms that promote the safety and well-being of all those whom USC serves,” her statement said.
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