LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles police said today they are investigating misconduct allegations made by 52 former patients of ex-USC gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall, with the complaints spanning from 1990 to 2016, roughly his entire tenure at the university.
LAPD Capt. William Hayes said 39 of the cases were referred to the department from a USC hotline set up for people to call and report concerns about Tyndall. The other cases involve people who contacted police directly, he said. Hayes said Tyndall saw thousands of USC students during his 30-year career as campus gynecologist, which came to an end last year when he resigned following nearly a year on paid leave.
Police said the department is working closely with the District Attorney's Office as they review cases to determine if any of them warrant consideration of criminal charges.
``We are here to listen, respond and ultimately work with prosecutors,'' LAPD Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala said during a news conference at LAPD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. Girmala urged anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Tyndall to contact the department as soon as possible.
``We cannot do this without your help,'' she said, adding that the LAPD is ``committed to thoroughly investigate any allegations'' of impropriety on Tyndall's part. Tyndall resigned in 2017. A Los Angeles Times investigation determined that Tyndall was the subject of complaints dating back to the 1990s, with patients complaining about sexually charged comments, inappropriate touching of patients and taking photographs of women he was examining. Despite the complaints, Tyndall was allowed to continue working at the USC Student Health Center and continued examining patients.
Girmala said Tyndall's ``behaviors and practices appear to be beyond the norm.''Tyndall was removed from the clinic only after a nurse reported him to the rape crisis center, according to former patients and staffers interviewed by The Times. An internal university investigation last year concluded that his pelvic exams were outside the scope of current medical practice and amounted to sexual harassment of students.
In interviews with The Times, the 71-year-old physician defended his medical exams as thorough and appropriate and said some of his comments to patients were misinterpreted. And in a letter to the newspaper dated May 17 but received Thursday, Tyndall said he had heard of only one patient complaint before March 2016, an allegation that he did not wear gloves during a pelvic exam, which he denies. Multiple lawsuits have already been filed against the university by former Tyndall patients who claim they were abused.
An Irvine-based law firm that had already filed several suits announced the filing of three more cases Tuesday, including one by a woman who claims she was abused by Tyndall in 1988 while working as a research assistant at USC Medical Center. Uproar over the allegations culminated Friday with the resignation of USC President C.L. Max Nikias.
Los Angeles police are urging anyone who believes they have been victimized to contact the department's Special Assault Section at (213) 486-6910.