'Predator in a white coat': Ex-gynaecologist in New York convicted of sex crimes

NEW YORK - A former New York gynaecologist accused of assaulting dozens of women, including the wife of a one-time US presidential candidate, was found guilty on Tuesday of sexual abuse.

Robert Hadden, 64, was convicted of enticing patients to travel across state lines for examinations in Manhattan where he would sexually assault them.

“Robert Hadden was a predator in a white coat,” Mr Damian Williams, US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement after the verdict.

“For years, he cruelly lured women who sought professional medical care to his offices in order to gratify himself,” the prosecutor added.

Hadden, who has not worked as a doctor since 2012, was convicted on four counts following a trial in the Manhattan federal court.

Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Hadden, of Tenafly, New Jersey, has been accused of abusing scores of women between the early 1990s and 2012.

Among them was Ms Evelyn Yang, wife of tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang who ran for president in 2020 as a Democratic outsider.

In January that year, Ms Yang told CNN she was assaulted by Hadden in 2012 while seven months pregnant with her first child, and had at first not even told her husband.

Hadden had pleaded guilty in 2016 to two state charges of forcible touching and third-degree sexual abuse under a plea deal that saw him avoid jail.

Under the agreement, he lost his medical license and was registered as the lowest-level sex offender.

Last year, the Columbia University Irving Medical Centre (CUIMC) announced it had reached a US$165-million (S$218 million) settlement with 147 of Hadden’s patients.

That settlement came after Columbia announced a US$71.5-million deal reached in 2021 between its hospitals and 79 of Hadden’s patients, who had been represented by a different lawyer.

Columbia has said that over the past decade, CUIMC’s obstetrics and gynecology department has revised existing policies and expanded resources to improve patient safety.

Hadden is due to be sentenced on April 25. AFP

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