Southern California

Three Former USC Students Open Up About Alleged Abuses by Former USC Gynecologist

Allegations against Dr. George Tyndall were made as early as 1990 but USC failed to fully investigate until 2016, according to the Department of Education.

Annette Richardson said that when she went to visit USC Dr. George Tyndall in 2000 she didn't get a standard gynecological exam.

She said she sought out a campus doctor because she was in need of a gynecologist due to ongoing health issues.

It was the worst experience, she said.

"It felt more like I was being molested by an unwanted sexual predator," she said on Monday. "I had tears running down my face and I felt humiliated.

She said she was shocked by the response when she reported the visit to a nurse.

The nurse, she said, told her, 'That's just how Dr. Tyndall is.'"

She is among 51 women who have filed a lawsuit against Tyndall and USC. The women claim Tyndall abused them and the school ignored their complaints for years. The new lawsuit adds to the total number of people suing USC and Tyndall, to 100.

NBC4 does not typically name victims of alleged sex abuse, but Richardson and two other women spoke publicly with their attorney during a news conference on Monday in West Hollywood.

Dana Lowe, who graduated with a doctorate in English from USC in 1995, recalled her gynecological exam during her sophomore year.

"I remember the excruciating pain he caused me," said Lowe. "When I squirmed and protested, he told me not to make such a fuss."

Tyndall, who has denied the allegations, does not face any criminal charges and has not been arrested. But police are investigating allegations from dozens of women and more than 400 students made complaints through a university hotline. USC has said it is cooperating with the investigations.

California's state Department of Education said last month it was investigating USC's response to allegations that Tyndall groped female students during campus office visits and improperly photographed and made comments about the women's bodies. Complaints made as early as 1990 were not fully investigated until 2016, the agency said. Tyndall, 71, retired in 2017.

"The University is conducting a thorough investigation into this matter," USC said in a statement Monday. "We will be seeking a prompt and fair resolution that is respectful of our former students. We are committed to providing the women of USC with the best, most thorough and respectful health care services of any university."

Andy Rubenstein, the attorney representing the women, said the case against USC is a case of silence.

"They were silent for three decades," he said. "Dr. Tyndall could not have gotten away with this without the help of USC."

Amanda Davis, who attended USC from 1999 to 2002, said Tynall took pictures of her nude during an exam, telling her they were for research purposes. She went to the USC health center because it was her sole healthcare provider during her time there.

"There was not anyone else present in the room, and I remember being naked on a table with Dr. Tyndall, while he was making small talk," she said. "After I left the office, I began to process what had happened. I began to feel stupid, embarrassed and ashamed."

She said she came from a small town and grew up to be a trusting person.

"I was very naive."

Dana Lowe was a patient of Tyndall in the early 1990s while she was a graduate student.

She said she felt uncomfortable when he asked her sexual history.

"From the beginning, the encounter felt strangely intimate and creepy," she said. "But it didn't occur to me that I was not in good hands."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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