On Wednesday Dr. George Tyndall, gynecologist at the student health center of University of Southern California, was finally arrested amidst countless claims of sexual assault after an 18 month investigation. CBS Los Angeles asserts that over 400 female patients have accused Dr. Tyndall of molestation through his occupation. Tyndall was seized at his apartment adjacent to the University of Southern California while he was armed with a loaded .38-caliber revolver. In the process of his arrest he claimed ‘chest pains’ and is now being held in the hospital.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney said Tyndall is charged with “18 counts of sexual penetration and 11 counts of sexual battery by fraud, in cases involving 16 young women.” Dr. Tyndall has denied all the allegations and his lawyers will attempt exonerate him. In December, LAPD found naked photographs and videos in Tyndall’s personal storage unit some of which appear to have been made at the health center of USC.
The LA police chief states that they have had 12 full-time detectives working this case over the last year, in which they have traveled across the country to conduct interviews of 350 plus women. USC only reported the sexual assault to the public after an article was published by The Los Angeles Times in May 2018. They uncovered complaints against Tyndall dating back to the 1990s, “co-workers alleged that he was improperly photographing students’ genitals during medical exams. Over the years, patients and nursing staff repeatedly accused him of “creepy” behavior, including touching women inappropriately during pelvic exams and making sexually suggestive remarks about their bodies.”
This investigation demonstrates the larger culture of abuse of power in the medical profession on unknowing patients. The American Medical Association states that any sexual contact between a patient and their physician constitutes sexual misconduct, yet many medical boards have permitted a large number of doctors to continue practicing after being found guilty of sexual abuse. David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, tells The Atlantic Journal-Constitution “We are so reliant on [doctors], we are so helpless and vulnerable and literally in pain often times [when] we go in there… We just do not want to believe, first of all, that a doctor is capable of this, and secondly that their colleagues and supervisors will not address this immediately and effectively when we report it.”