Tyndall’s name was included in a massive settlement between USC and the doctor’s victims. However, Tyndall continues to deny any wrongdoing.
Dr. George Tyndall, the University of Southern California’s (USC) long-time gynecologist, was arrested Wednesday on charges of sexually assaulting 16 students.
Tyndall, writes Reuters, was charged in Los Angeles Superior Court with 29 felony counts. The charges range from sexual penetration to sexual battery by fraud and are a continuation of a far larger scandal. USC has already settled with hundreds of women who say they were molested by Tyndall, with the university expected to pay upwards of $215 million.
Of the 16 patients Tyndall is criminally charged with assaulting, all were between the ages of 17 and 29. They were purportedly abused by the gynecologist as USC’s student health center.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told media outlets that police have handed over some 134 crime reports regarding Tyndall’s alleged misconduct.
While Tyndall was mentioned by name in the university’s settlement, he managed to escape legal culpability—in large part because USC orchestrated his silent departure after an extensive misconduct investigation.
The case only began to attract attention after the Los Angeles Times ran an expose on Tyndall and the University of Southern California’s cover-up. Along with detailing victims’ stories, the Times spoke to college employees—past and present—who had first-hand knowledge of Tyndall’s often-inappropriate methods and manner.
Many of his accusers claim to they were physically assaulted by Tyndall, who reportedly groped some female patients during examinations. Others say he was made lewd remarks and took photographs of women’s bodies.
Similar to allegations against former Michigan State sports physician Larry Nassar, some of Tyndall’s victims say they didn’t even realize they’d been abused until they read other students’ accounts of misconduct.
The BBC notes that, in December of 2018, local police found “multiple photographs of naked women” in one of Tyndall’s rented storage units.
Tyndall’s medical license was suspended last year, but the doctor has continued to deny wrongdoing. He agreed to participate in the settlement to avoid any continued expense—however, he won’t be held financially liable for any of the university’s pay-out.
Attorneys for Tyndall likened the settlement to “character assassination.” According to Reuters, they’ve framed the 72-year old physician’s arrest and indictment as an opportunity to clear his name.
“There’s been a lot of character assassination of the doctor in this case, and we’re really looking forward to exonerating him,” attorney Andrew Flier told Reuters over the phone. “He’s always proclaimed his innocence from day one.”
Tyndall, adds Reuter, was carrying a concealed handgun when he was arrested. Shortly after being taken into custody, he complained of chest pain and was transported to a hospital for observation.
A judge has set the doctor’s bail at $2.1 million. However, a hearing won’t be scheduled until Tyndall’s health is no longer in question.