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Monday April 15, 2024

Two decades of shocking crimes: New York gynaecologist sentenced to 20 years in prison

Shocking case unfolded over two decades, with Hadden exploiting trust of his patients during gynaecology treatments

By Web Desk
July 26, 2023
New York gynaecologist sentenced to 20 years in prison for over two decades of shocking crimes against his patients. nypost.com
New York gynaecologist sentenced to 20 years in prison for over two decades of shocking crimes against his patients. nypost.com

A gynaecologist accused of sexually abusing over 200 vulnerable patients across prestigious New York hospitals has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. 

Robert Hadden, 64, faced a federal judge who dubbed his crimes as "outrageous, horrific, beyond extraordinary, depraved sexual abuse." The sentence marks a measure of vindication for the numerous former patients who bravely came forward to accuse the doctor.

The shocking case unfolded over two decades, with Hadden exploiting the trust of his patients during gynaecology treatments at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. At least 245 women reported being abused during examinations, many of whom were pregnant, suffering from physical ailments, or visiting a gynaecologist for the first time.

During the trial, nine victims testified against Hadden, describing the unsettling scenarios where he took advantage of them once alone in the treatment room. Assistant US Attorney Jane Kim emphasised that Hadden had yet to accept responsibility for his heinous acts, leaving the victims with a sense of injustice.

Hadden's original prosecution in 2016 had ended with a plea bargain, which spared him jail time and allowed him to avoid the state's sex offender registry. The lenient deal left some of the women outraged, but it wasn't until the rise of the #MeToo movement in 2017 that the stories gained widespread attention.

As the trial unfolded, emotional scenes filled the courtroom, with victims seeking closure and justice. Liz Hall, one of the survivors, found Hadden's expression of remorse hollow, saying, "That was not an apology. He has shown zero remorse or empathy. I think he's incapable." Other survivors hoped the sentence would encourage more victims of sexual abuse to speak out against their abusers.

The case also exposed shortcomings in the system, as allegations had initially surfaced in 2012, but Hadden was allowed to continue practicing with limited consequences. Changes to New York law were later sought by some of the victims, making it easier to pursue legal action against allegations normally barred by the statute of limitations. Hospitals where Hadden worked agreed to pay over $236 million to settle civil claims brought forward by more than 200 former patients.

The landmark verdict serves as a crucial reminder that justice can prevail, even after years of abuse, and provides hope for other survivors seeking closure and accountability.