Update, May 22nd, 2:18 p.m. PDT: CBS Los Angeles reports that in a letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times, 200 USC faculty members have called on the Board of Trustees to ask President Max Nikias to resign in the wake of the Tyndall allegations. In response, the board reportedly issued a statement standing by Nikias.
In January, Larry Nassar, the disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor, was convicted of sexually abusing more than 150 women and sentenced to life in prison. Now, days after Nassar’s victims reached a settlement with MSU, another college campus is facing backlash for covering up a campus doctor’s abuse of his patients. Today, May 21st, five women have filed lawsuits against the University of Southern California, saying that they were sexually assaulted by a gynecologist in the student health center.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the suits accuse USC of failing to properly address sexual misconduct complaints made against Dr. George Tyndall. Two separate lawsuits filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court accuse Tyndall of groping patients, performing exams without gloves, making vulgar comments, and even lying to one woman that she “likely had AIDS.”
According to CBS Los Angeles, on May 15th, USC President Max Nikias acknowledged in an email that Tyndall’s behavior had been investigated following a June 2016 complaint, and that he had been removed from his position in July 2017. But an article in the Times published the following day revealed that complaints of sexual misconduct and racist remarks had been filed against Tyndall as far back as the ’90s and that despite the repeated complaints, the university had allowed him to keep practicing at USC’s Engemann Student Health Center.
Newsweek reported that Nikias called Tyndall’s behavior “completely unacceptable” in a letter to students and staff.
“In hindsight, we should have made this report eight months earlier, when he separated from the university,” Nikias said.
The suits filed today referred to this failure on the part of the administration.
Tyndall’s alleged behavior is monstrous, and we stand by all those who were affected. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.