Los Angeles

Ex-USC Gynecologist Pleads Not Guilty to Charges He Sexually Assaulted Patients

George Tyndall was charged last week with sexually assaulting 16 patients over the course of seven years at the USC campus health center

What to Know

  • George Tyndall was charged last week with sexually assaulting 16 patients over the course of seven years
  • His attorney said Tyndall did nothing inappropriate and plans to argue to a bail reduction
  • Tyndall was arrested Wednesday at his Mid-Wilshire apartment

The former USC gynecologist accused of sexually abusing students under the guise of medical exams at the school's campus health center pleaded not guilty Monday to charges involving 16 patients.

George Tyndall was charged last week with sexually assaulting 16 patients over the course of seven years. His attorney said Tyndall, 72, did nothing inappropriate and plans to argue that his client's $2 million bail be lowered.

He is due back in court Wednesday for a bail review hearing.

Tyndall was arrested Wednesday at his Mid-Wilshire apartment. He was hospitalized due to a health condition, but later transferred to the medical wing of Twin Towers Jail near downtown Los Angeles.

He is charged with 18 counts of sexual penetration and 11 counts of sexual battery by force, all felonies. Prosecutors said the alleged victims range in age from 17 to 29. The alleged assaults occurred between 2009 and 2016 while Tyndall worked at the campus health center.

A judge ordered that he surrender his passport, part of why his attorney said his Tyndall isn't a flight risk. Attorney Andrew Flier said Tyndall's medical license has been inactive since last August.

"Clearly the doctor is not a flight risk," Flier told the court. "He's not a danger or a threat to anyone. I think bail's being used as a weapon in this case."

Tyndall appeared in the downtown Los Angeles courtroom wearing a protective vest, but his attorney said his client is not suicidal and was wearing the vest for his own protection. Tyndall had a gun when he was arrested, which he kept for personal protection due to threats, Flier said.

Tyndall is facing up to 53 years in prison if convicted, according to prosecutors.

Flier issued a statement last week saying, "After a year of being tried in the press, Dr. Tyndall looks forward to having his case adjudicated in a court of law where the truth will finally prevail. He remains adamant he will then be totally exonerated."

Tyndall has previously denied any wrongdoing, insisting his actions were legitimate medical exams. Flier said a chaperone was present during the exams.

Then-USC Interim President Wanda M. Austin said Wednesday the university has been cooperating with the LAPD and District Attorney's Office "and will continue to do so."

"We care deeply about our community and our top priority continues to be the wellbeing of our students, health center patients and university community," she said. "We hope this arrest will be a healing step for former patients and our entire university."

Moore said 12 LAPD detectives have been working full time on the case for the past year, investigating assault allegations by more than 350 women. He said detectives presented more than 130 potential cases to the District Attorney's Office, raising the possibility of more charges being filed.

Hundreds of former patients have sued Tyndall and USC, accusing the university of failing to respond to allegations of abuse by the campus gynecologist dating back decades. On June 13, a federal judge in Los Angeles gave preliminary approval to a $215 million class-action settlement with some of the women suing the university.

Attorneys for the women included in the settlement said the agreement "gives every single woman who saw Tyndall a choice in how they want to participate and hold USC accountable, while also forcing the school to change to ensure this doesn't happen again."

Accusers have said they were inappropriately fondled or photographed by Tyndall under the guise of gynecological exams. Many also accused him of making sexually charged comments during the exams.

Hundreds of other women are still suing the university and Tyndall in state court. Attorneys for those accusers have criticized the federal class-action settlement, calling it inadequate.

The lawsuits contend the university received numerous complaints of Tyndall's alleged sexually abusive behavior, dating back to at least 1988, and actively and deliberately concealed his actions. Attorneys for some former patients allege 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 have denied any coverup.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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