More Victims Sue USC Over Dr. George Tyndall’s Rampant Sex Abuse: ‘They Were Protecting a Predator’
The school concealed years of reports against the now-71-year-old gynecologist, whose alleged victims include women across multiple generations, according to the lawsuit.
Another 51 women have filed a lawsuit against the University of Southern California over decades of alleged sexual abuse by Dr. George Tyndall, who treated thousands of students while working as the only full-time gynecologist at the school for almost 30 years.
“He wouldn't have gotten away with it if USC had stepped up,” said Andy Rubenstein, who represents the 51 women filing suit on Monday. “They were protecting a predator.”
According to Monday’s complaints, the school concealed years of reports about the now-71-year-old gynecologist, including several from female nurses who allegedly witnessed his abuse. Rubenstein is a Houston lawyer whose firm reportedly used Facebook and other advertisements to reach former patients of the notorious doctor, according to the Los Angeles Times. The plaintiffs include women from all over the United States—and Britain, and Israel—and across generations. The Times has covered Tyndall’s alleged abuse since May, when six women first came forward with accusations against him.
Since then, more than 200 former USC students have joined several civil suits against the university. The women allege that Tyndall inappropriately photographed students’ genitals, made lewd or sexual comments about their bodies, and touched patients unnecessarily or inappropriately without medical gloves, the Times has reported.
Tyndall allegedly asked his patients to strip naked and lie on the exam table so that he could inspect every inch of their body, while making “unseemly and sexually-charged” comments about their “flawless” and “creamy” skin and “perky breasts,” according to Monday’s complaints.
Former USC student Dana Loewy told ABC News in a televised interview on Monday that she sought treatment from Tyndall before she received her Ph.D. in 1995. She noted that he seemed preoccupied with the tattoo on the inside of her thigh, calling it, “Oh, a picture for me.”
According to Monday’s complaints, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Tyndall insisted that Loewy was a virgin despite the fact “she had been in several committed intimate relationships with boyfriends.” When she said her current partner was a woman, he allegedly responded: “Is it true that all lesbians hate men?”
“A blind eye was turned towards these women’s pleas for help,” said Rubenstein, in a statement released Monday afternoon. “Sexual abuse is a horrific offense and covering it up is equally troubling. USC’s inexcusable inaction gave Dr. Tyndall the opportunity to abuse countless more patients over many years.”
“This is an issue that has arisen at too many colleges and universities, and it needs to be corrected,” Rubenstein added. “There needs to be a clear process to ensure complaints of this nature follow a firm protocol and are all treated seriously and efficiently, so that individuals do not get placed in harm’s way.”
In one of the previous civil lawsuits against Tyndall, filed on July 13, several Jane Does also alleged that the gynecologist violated and molested them during exams.
One woman, who attended USC between 1988 and 1993, sought treatment for a possible vaginal yeast infection, according to that federal lawsuit. She was wearing a skirt, and Tyndall allegedly told her to remove her underwear rather than changing into an examination gown. Then he examined her with his fingers, while asking if she had ever had a woman perform oral sex on her. When she asked why, Tyndall allegedly explained that “if a girl was licking her vagina, it may have caused her yeast infection.”
That complaint claims that Tyndall went on to describe oral sex despite the fact that his patient was “was very uncomfortable by the tone and subject matter of the conversation.”
Another woman sought treatment from Tyndall while she was attending USC during the 2000-2001 academic year. She had never been examined by a gynecologist before and requested an appointment for birth control and STD testing, according to the July federal lawsuit. Tyndall allegedly performed a pelvic exam and inserted his fingers into her vagina. As many other women have claimed, Tyndall purportedly used the opportunity to tell the patient she was “particularly tight” and said she had a “beautiful vagina.”
In 2008, another Jane Doe saw Tyndall over vaginal discomfort when her regular gynecologist was out of town. As she was laying on the exam table, undressed from the waist down with her legs spread, Tyndall allegedly tapped on her labia several times with four fingers and said, “That’s nice,” according to the lawsuit. Doe claims she was one of several women who wrote a letter of complaint to the executive director of student health at the time.
In the spring of 2013 alone, at least eight others in Tyndall’s office reported concerns about the gynecologist to their supervisor, veteran nurse Cindy Gilbert. Three years later, in 2016, Gilbert finally reported the decades-old allegations against Tyndall to the school’s rape crisis center, according to the July lawsuit. That complaint eventually led to the discovery of a box of film containing women’s genitalia in his office, that complaint claims. Tyndall was reportedly forced to retire from USC in 2017.
The Los Angeles Times reported last month that the combined lawsuits could now cost the school hundreds of millions of dollars and that lawyers working on the cases expect the number of victims to keep growing. They estimate that Tyndall saw up to 10,000 patients during his time at USC.
“I have never seen anything like the volume of calls we are getting,” lawyer John Manly told the Times last month.
“The alarming thing is we have women from the very beginning of his employment in 1989 to the very end,” he said. “It indicates he engaged in this behavior throughout his tenure at USC.”
Earlier this month, Tyndall reportedly retained prominent Los Angeles attorney Leonard Levine—apparently known for defending suspects in sex crimes cases. He has repeatedly denied all of the accusations. Levine told ABC News in a statement on Monday that the ex-USC doctor followed “gynecological standards” with all of his patients.
“He is clear that he engaged in no criminal conduct,” Levine said.
No charges have been filed against Tyndall, but the Los Angeles Police Department has opened an investigation into more than 130 complaints against him and last month raided Tyndall’s apartment and storage locker. According to the Times, detectives also searched USC for documents and files related to the doctor.
Despite this, USC has said it is “conducting a thorough investigation” on its own.
A statement issued to ABC News on Monday said: “We will be seeking a prompt and fair resolution that is respectful of our former students. We are committed to providing the women of USC with the best, most thorough and respectful health care services of any university.”