USC

Former USC gynecologist in sex abuse cases found dead in Los Angeles home

George Tyndall, a former longtime USC campus gynecologist who was awaiting trial on sex-related charges involving 16 patients who accused him of inappropriate behavior under the guise of medical exams.

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George Tyndall, a former longtime USC campus gynecologist who was awaiting trial on sex-related charges involving 16 patients who accused him of inappropriate behavior under the guise of medical exams, was found dead in his Los Angeles home, one of his attorneys said today.

Attorney Leonard Levine told the Los Angeles Times a close friend of Tyndall went to his condo when she was unable to reach him, then found him unresponsive inside.

In August, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler found sufficient evidence to require Tyndall to stand trial on 18 felony counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person—charges that allege the women were "unconscious of the nature of the act'' and that it served "no professional purpose"—along with nine felony counts of sexual battery by fraud.

The criminal complaint alleged that the crimes occurred between 2009 and 2016.

The women had gone to USC's student health center for annual examinations or other treatment while Tyndall was working there.

Hundreds of women claimed they were sexually abused by former USC gynecologist George Tyndall. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News on Thursday, March 25, 2021.

Eight charges involving five other women were dismissed earlier because four of them opted not to proceed and one could not be contacted.

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Tyndall adamantly insisted on his innocence, saying he was conducting legitimate medical examinations.

Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller told the judge during the August hearing that Tyndall was employed at a prestigious university and that the patients -- often as young as 18, 19 or 20 – “trust in this guy” and “believe what he is doing is appropriate.”

“That's how he gets away with this. In their minds, they think what's being done is correct,” the prosecutor said, adding that Tyndall's patients were “unable to resist” because they were not aware of the nature of what Tyndall was doing.

Levine countered that many patients were not comfortable with the way Tyndall spoke to them, but said he believed their perception of Tyndall changed to the acts being viewed as “sexual in nature” rather than a standard gynecological examination after a Los Angeles Times article about alleged wrongdoing by the former campus gynecologist.

The defense lawyer told the judge that he believed the investigation into the alleged crimes was ``totally lacking,'' saying that the defense maintains that the examinations were done for a legitimate medical purpose.

In March 2021, attorneys representing hundreds of women who claim they were sexually abused by Tyndall announced an $852 million settlement of lawsuits against the university, describing the resolution as the largest of its type ever against a university.

In January 2020, a federal judge in Los Angeles granted final approval of a $215 million class-action settlement between USC and some of the women who claim they were sexually abused by Tyndall.

The settlement provides all class members with, about 17,000 former patients who received women's health services from Tyndall, with compensation of $2,500 and up. Patients who are willing to provide further details about their experience could be eligible for additional compensation up to $250,000.

Attorneys for some victims have argued that following an internal investigation of complaints against Tyndall in 2016, the university paid Tyndall a substantial financial settlement, so he would quietly resign.

USC officials had repeatedly denied allegations of a cover-up relating to Tyndall and have said that in response to the scandal, new protocols were implemented at its student health center to ensure any complaints are investigated and resolved by appropriate university officials and authorities.

The university also said it has hired female, board-certified physicians and introduced patient education materials about sensitive examinations.

After the March 2021 settlement, USC President Carol Folt released a statement in which she said, “I am deeply sorry for the pain experienced by these valued members of the USC community. We appreciate the courage of all who came forward and hope this much-needed resolution provides some relief to the women abused by George Tyndall.”

Tyndall surrendered his medical license in September 2019, according to records from the Medical Board of California.

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