It seemed a plea deal with state prosecutors in New York would keep former gynecologist Robert Hadden of Englewood out of prison after he was accused of sexually abusing patients. Then the feds came knocking.
FBI agents arrested Hadden, 62, at his home on Wednesday and brought him to U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where a grand jury indictment charges him with sexually abusing dozens of female patients, including minors, over nearly 20 years.
Federal authorities are asking other alleged victims to come forward (see below).
Hadden victimized patients “under the guise of conducting purported gynecological and obstetric examinations” at his medical offices in the city and at Manhattan hospitals from 1993 through at least 2012, the indictment returned in the Southern District of New York alleges.
At least six of them came into the city from or through other states, giving federal authorities the grounds to pursue their own case.
The federal indictment specifically charges Hadden with six counts of “inducing others to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.”
Hadden “invited his victims to meet with him alone in his office, sent nurses and medical assistants out of the examination room for periods of time, and/or intentionally failed to tell nurses and medical assistants when he was going into examination rooms, so that he could be alone with his victims,” it says.
The indictment says the accused abuse included:
- “excessively long and sexualized breast exams that involved caressing or groping a victim’s breasts, and pinching, twisting, or otherwise manipulating a victim’s nipples;
- “conducting two breast exams per appointment;
- “conducting pelvic exams during which Hadden used his hands to touch a victim’s clitoris, labia, vagina, and/or anus without a valid medical purpose;
- “conducting pelvic exams during which Hadden licked a victim’s vagina.”
He also asked some of the victims “detailed, inappropriate questions” about their sexual activities and partners and advised them on masturbation and pubic hair grooming without prompting, the indictment alleges.
Audrey Strauss, the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District, called Hadden “a predator in a white coat” who “used the cover of conducting medical examinations to engage in sexual abuse that he passed off as normal and medically necessary.
“It was neither normal nor necessary,” Strauss said. “It was criminal.”
Hadden surrendered his medical license as part of a 2016 plea deal after prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney’s accused him of sexual abuse.
One of his accusers, Evelyn Yang, the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, said earlier this year that Hadden had assaulted her in 2012, including when she was seven months pregnant.
More than two dozen others have accused Hadden in a lawsuit of groping and penetrating them during unnecessary vaginal exams and “mole checks,” engaging in attempts at oral sex and making inappropriate sexual comments.
Hadden reportedly had delivered one of the younger victims, the federal indictment alleges.
Strauss thanked and commended “the brave women who were willing to come forward to tell us what happened to them, without whom these charges could not have been brought.”
“There could be many victims out there we have not heard from,” added William F. Sweeney Jr., the assistant director in charge of the New York FBI office. “We see time and time again that voices matter, and those who have stepped forward have empowered others to do the same.
“It is important to remember nothing Dr. Hadden has done was, or ever will be, your fault," Sweeney added. "We want you to know FBI special agents, NYPD detectives, analysts, victim specialists, and prosecutors investigating this case are here for each and every one of you, and we are your advocates.
“If you have been victimized by Robert Hadden in any way, or have any additional information about his alleged illegal behavior, please call us at 1-800-CALL-FBI, or reach out to us at www.tips.fbi.gov.”
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