Robert A. Hadden, 62, faces six counts of inducing others to travel to engage in illegal sex acts. He was arrested on Wednesday
A former Columbia University gynecologist accused of sexually abusing more than two dozen patients, including the wife of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang has been released on $1 million bail.
The doctor, Robert A. Hadden, 62, faces federal charges including six counts of inducing others to travel to engage in illegal sex acts in a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday.
He will now be subject to home confinement as part of his bail terms set by Manhattan federal court judge Robert Lehrburger.
The sexual abuse allegations against Hadden date back as early as 1993 and include the alleged abuse of a minor who he understood to be under 18 in part because he had delivered her at birth.
At the remote arraignment on Wednesday evening, one of his alleged victims named Jessica Sell Chambers urged Judge Lehrburger to remand Hadden into custody pending his trial.
Robert Hadden, right, is released on bail on Wednesday in New York
Former New York gynecologist Hadden, accused of sexually abusing more than two dozen patients, including the wife of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang
‘He has injured many, many, many women and he needs to be held accountable for that,’ Chambers said.
‘I think the court needs to ensure he has no chance to flee or hurt himself or anything like that,’ she added.
Prosecutors pleas for Hadden to be remanded were also ignored noting that he will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Prosecutors are concerned that Hadden, who has a substantial amount of money could use it to flee the country.
Hadden’s attorney argued that he was not a flight risk because he is the sole caretaker of his severely disabled adult son.
Robert Hadden, right, is seen having been released on bail. Hadden was charged with six counts of inducing others to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
Hadden, 62, faces federal charges including six counts of inducing others to travel to engage in illegal sex acts in a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday
The indictment said Hadden had sexually abused dozens of female patients, including multiple minors, ‘under the guise of conducting purported gynecological and obstetric examinations’ at his medical offices and Manhattan hospitals.
It notes that Hadden used his role as a doctor in a prominent university to make or attempt to make his victims believe that the sexual abuse he allegedly inflicted on them was appropriate and medically necessary.
Yet during these appointments, he groped and penetrated patients during vaginal examinations and ‘mole checks’ that served ‘no medical purpose’.
Hadden also allegedly made sexually inappropriate remarks and surreptitiously performed oral sex on patients
It claims he encouraged his patients to see him often and would try to make them feel at ease by showing them photographs of his family.
Robert Hadden, right, is released on bail, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, in New York
Andrew Yang said he was ‘extraordinarily proud’ of his wife Evelyn (pictured together) for telling her story in January and no one deserves to be treated as she was
The indictment describes the alleged abuse of a patient who Hadden had delivered at birth
The victims allege that Hadden would conduct two breast exams during an appointment
He would ‘develop a relationship with his victims and causing them to trust him,’ it adds.
The document alleges that Hadden also targeted younger or less experienced victims such as first-time mothers so they would not know that his actions were not medically necessary.
Some of his victims would realize his inappropriate conduct, it notes, while others would continue to attend appointments with Hadden for years.
It claims he would frequently conduct two breast exams in an appointment, one when a chaperone was present and another when he found opportunities to be alone with victims.
The second examinations were described by victims as ‘long’ and ‘sexualized’.
In other instances he would tell his patients that they needed to be fully nude for pelvic exams, it said.
His victims claim that some of his conduct in examinations lacked ‘any valid medical purpose’
Hadden formerly worked at Columbia University, pictured
Two of the victim stories described in the indictment claim that at appointments shortly after childbirth, Hadden squeezed their nipples to extract milk with no medical purpose.
At least two other victims accused him of licking their vagina during a medical exam.
One victim, named only as victim 4, said that during vaginal exams, Hadden would apply lubrication directly onto the outside of her vagina.
In other cases it alleges he would ask patients inappropriate questions about their sex lives and advise them on how to ‘groom their public hair and how to masturbate or have orgasm’.
The document also alleges that Hadden would use access to birth control as power over his patients. Once giving them free birth control, it claims he would give only a few months supply to ensure that they would schedule another appointment soon.
The indictment notes that Hadden allegedly had dozens of victims, including multiple minors, but only details the allegations of one minor victim and five other adult female victims.
Hadden (pictured outside his home) stood accused in a sex-abuse case involving six patients back in 2016 but reached a deal, pleading guilty to two counts of criminal sexual act in the third degree and forcible touching. He lost his medical license but served no prison time
The minor victim visited Hadden between 2010 and 2012 after he pushed her parent to begin bringing her to appointments once she neared puberty.
Hadden was arrested Wednesday morning in New Jersey, authorities said. He has a home in Englewood, which is located about 10 miles outside Manhattan.
He is set to appear Wednesday afternoon in Manhattan federal court.
Hadden, who had avoided prison time but surrendered his medical license in an earlier plea deal with state prosecutors, has faced a growing chorus of accusers in recent years.
They have included Evelyn Yang, the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who earlier this year told CNN that Hadden assaulted her in 2012, including when she was seven months pregnant.
Hoechstetter (pictured with NYC council speaker Corey Johnson) called for Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance to resign for ‘failing to protect victims of sexual assault’ after Hadden reached a plea deal for sexual assault charges in 2016. She said the federal indictment Wednesday ‘only puts into high relief the betrayal I and his other victims experienced by the Manhattan DA’
Hadden reached a plea agreement in 2016 with prosecutors in the office of Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, who reopened an investigation into the doctor amid criticism over his handling of a case that included five counts of committing a criminal sexual act.
Evelyn Yang, in the CNN interview, called Hadden’s punishment a ‘slap on the wrist.’
‘What happened to me should have never happened,’ she said.
Marissa Hoechstetter, another Hadden accuser, has said Vance’s office misled her about the statute of limitations in Hadden’s case and was already negotiating the plea deal when she was still talking to prosecutors about testifying at a potential trial.
The federal indictment Wednesday ‘only puts into high relief the betrayal I and his other victims experienced by the Manhattan DA,’ she said.
‘I hope that through the course of this, the world will finally see the full extent of Hadden’s decades of sexual abuse and the institutional cowardice that protected and enabled him for so long,’ Hoechstetter said in a statement to The Associated Press.
‘He and his enablers must be held accountable if we are to make change in a system that harms those it is meant to protect.’
Danny Frost, a spokesman for Vance, said state prosecutors provided ‘substantial assistance’ leading to the indictment.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is still conducting its own ‘intensely active’ investigation into ‘potential failures by Dr. Hadden´s employer and hospital to disclose additional incidents of abuse to our office and to regulators when required.’