Dr Robert Hadden, gynecologist who abused Andrew Yang's pregnant wife, had sexually assaulted 31 other women

Yang along with 31 other women are suing Columbia University where Hadden had worked, saying that they "actively concealed, conspired, and enabled" Hadden's crimes.


                            Dr Robert Hadden, gynecologist who abused Andrew Yang's pregnant wife, had sexually assaulted 31 other women
Andrew Yang, Evelyn Yang (AP)

The wife of presidential democratic candidate Andrew Yang, Evelyn got candid on how she was sexually abused by her gynecologist-obstetrician, Dr. Robert Hadden, when she was pregnant with her first child in 2012. While speaking to CNN, Evelyn shared that she initially did not sense that anything was off about Hadden until he began asking her questions about her sex life that were unrelated to her pregnancy. She shared, "It seemed like he just wanted to hear about me talking about sex."

"The examinations became longer, more frequent, and I learned that they were unnecessary most of the time," she added. When she was seven months pregnant she shared, "I was in the exam room, and I was dressed and ready to go. Then, at the last minute, he kind of made up an excuse. He said something about, ‘I think you might need a C-section,’ and he proceeded to grab me over to him and undress me and examine me internally, ungloved." It was not until much later that Evelyn discovered that many women had been sexually assaulted by Hadden. These are a few things you need to know about Dr. Hadden and how he never went to jail for his crimes: 

Sexually abused pregnant women

Dr Hadden was licensed to practice medicine in New York starting in 1990. He started working as a gynecologist at the Columbia University Medical Center and their affiliated hospitals. The extent of his abuse came to light in 2018 when seventeen women filed suit against the university and its associated hospitals, claiming the institutions committed negligence and fraud as part of a "massive coverup" of the obstetrician's sexual abuse of patients for more than 20 years.

The women then said that Columbia University and hospitals were first made aware of the former doctor's behavior in the early 1990s, but they "actively and deliberately — and inexplicably — concealed Hadden's sexual abuse for decades, and continued to grant Robert Hadden unfettered access to vulnerable, unsuspecting, pregnant and non-pregnant female patients." 

Deal of a lifetime

Hadden was previously charged with sexually abusing six patients but took a no-jail plea deal in 2016. The DA's office had agreed to a plea deal with Hadden where he pleaded guilty to one count of forcible touching and one count of third-degree sexual assault. He lost his medical license and also had to register as the lowest level of sex offender. He never went to jail for his crimes. 

Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr released a statement to CNN and said, "Because a conviction is never a guaranteed outcome in a criminal trial, our primary concern was holding him accountable and making sure he could never do this again – which is why we insisted on a felony conviction and permanent surrender of his medical license."

The lawsuit

Evelyn along with 31 other women are suing Columbia University where Hadden had worked, saying that they "actively concealed, conspired, and enabled" Hadden's crimes. 

The civil suit details the sexual assault allegations against Hadden including multiple unnecessary exams, forcing patients to strip naked, groping their breasts and bodies, digitally penetrating their vaginas and anuses, and "surreptitiously licking countless patients' vaginas." The suit claims that medical assistants at Columbia knew of the sexual abuses but because of lack of training and a "hidden imbalance of power" they did not intervene, and that Columbia "kept the complaints secret to avoid negative publicity."

While Hadden has denied the allegations except those in his prior guilty plea. Columbia and the hospital system are contesting the suit on procedural grounds.

The only other victim to forgo her anonymity

Marissa Hoechstetter revealed in the 2018 lawsuit that Hadden was her OBGYN between 2009 and 2012 during which time the abuse took place. "It has destroyed the memories of my pregnancy. What should have been really a very joyful time in one’s life when I look back on it, it’s a horrible memory. There was a time when I would look at my daughters and almost resent them for being the reason that I was seeing this person in the first place," she revealed to CBS

"It’s a challenge, and it’s something that I think very hard about how to move past that, and, you know, take care of myself medically now, take care of my children," she continued.

Hadden has denied the allegations and is no longer practising.

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