“So, about what happened...,” said Yale Medical School professor Eugene Redmond,one hungover and humid morning on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, where he and a cohort of students were researching Parkinson’s disease.
Redmond and John*, an intern, had gone out the night before with a group to celebrate the rising sophomore’s birthday, sharing dinner and drinks near the medical research facility the professor ran on the island.
But they’d all had too much to drink, and that night, when John went to bed, he was so drunk he could barely keep his eyes open or speak.
Each year, one young, male student was forced to share a bedroom with Redmond at the facility, according to a 54-page report released this week by former U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly, which details the encounter with John.
When the professor came back into the room, he allegedly offered to apply aloe to the student’s sunburned back. And while John was still too drunk to open his eyes, Redmond allegedly flipped him over and began manually stimulating his penis. That’s when John said he fell asleep.
When he woke up the next morning, his shorts and underwear were pulled down around his legs. He found crumpled up tissues scattered around and a bottle of lubricant on the bedside table, John later told investigators.
He pulled up his shorts and ran out of the room, where Redmond was still sleeping.
Later that day, Redmond allegedly approached him to explain.
“So, about what happened,” began Redmond, according to the report. John told investigators that he stopped the conversation, demanded his own room—with a lock—and said he never wanted to hear from the professor again once the program ended.
John told his then-girlfriend about the encounter—which she later corroborated to officials—and struggled with both depression and anxiety when he returned to New Haven in the fall. His grades and self-esteem both fell in the aftermath of the alleged assault.
Months later, John says he received a Christmas gift in the mail from Redmond: a $500 voucher for a Broadway show. He sent the “blood money,” as he called it, to a family member. (The family member also corroborated that information to investigators.)
By the time John tried to file a formal complaint against Redmond in January 2019, the professor had already retired after a University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct found him responsible for sexually harassing a student.
What John didn’t know was that Redmond, who served on the Yale faculty for 44 years, from 1974 through July 2018, had been accused of sexual misconduct by at least three students, from 1974 through 2018, prompting Yale to hire a law firm to independently investigate the claims.
After a six-month investigation involving 110 witnesses and 1,450 documents, the Stamford-based firm Finn Dixon & Herling concluded last week that Redmond sexually assaulted eight students during his tenure at the university. The report was first covered by The Yale Daily News and The New Haven Register on Tuesday.
Five of those students, including John, said they were sexually assaulted in a shared St. Kitts bedroom with Redmond in nearly identical scenarios. The date of John’s assault was not specified in the report. Daly wrote that some details were left out of the document in order to protect the anonymity of the accusers.
In many of the encounters, the survivors said they went to sleep after a night of drinking in the bedroom and then woke up the following morning to find their underwear down or wet, with tissues strewn about, and with gel on their genitals.
Many of the men have said that Redmond provided them with financial or professional support afterward. One student said he felt like he had a “grandfather-grandson” relationship but that he later felt “disgusted” by the situation and believes that Redmond treated him like a “pet.” Another student described Redmond as a “predator” and blamed himself—a “grown man”—for the alleged assault.
Three students, the report claims, were subjected to medically unnecessary genital or rectal exams by the professor. Physicians consulted by the investigators described the exams as “inappropriate” because, in at least one case, the “non-practicing physician,” who “did not have an established physician-patient relationship with the student,” conducted the exam outside of a medical facility.
At least eight other people, including undergraduates, recent graduates, and one high school student, said they were subjected to sexual misconduct or harassment by Redmond, the report alleges. The misconduct described by those eight people included Redmond masturbating or exposing himself to students, touching students inappropriately, offering to give them massages, spying on them in the bathroom, and pulling down a student’s swimsuit without his consent.
One of the students allegedly told his parents during a phone call from St. Kitts that Redmond “was a molester.”
New Haven, Yale, and St. Kitts police have been informed of Redmond’s alleged misconduct, some of which took place in the United States—in Redmond’s New Haven home and on Yale’s campus.
“Redmond carefully selected the interns he abused and harassed,” said the report. “He often isolated them from their peers and flattered them, supported them financially, offered assistance for admittance to medical school, expressed deep affection, discussed intimate sexual matters, and sought time alone with them.”
The investigators describe Redmond’s allegedly “textbook grooming behavior,” in which he gained interns’ trust, established control, and then created an environment of “secrecy and isolation.”
The student accounts of the assault were “highly credible,” and those who were interviewed were “candid and straightforward,” did not embellish their stories, or appear to be motivated by an agenda, said the scathing report.
Each allegation in the report was corroborated in some way by “family members, friends, or therapists to whom the students reported the incidents,” said the document. “The strongest corroboration for the assaults is the striking similarity between the students’ accounts of what happened, despite the fact that the incidents occurred years, and in some cases, decades apart, and the students do not know one another or the nature of their individual accounts.”
The investigation by Finn Dixon & Herling uncovered that the first complaints about Redmond’s alleged behavior were reported to Yale administrators in 1994, which resulted in a “flawed” internal investigation that failed to “implement any meaningful monitoring mechanisms to ensure ongoing oversight of Redmond and student activity at the St. Kitts facility,” Daly wrote.
Had those monitoring mechanisms existed, the report claims, “Redmond’s ongoing misconduct might well have been detected and stopped.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Yale University President Peter Salovey called Redmond’s alleged actions “reprehensible and antithetical to the educational mission of our university.”
“I am grateful to the survivors who bravely came forward to report the assault and misconduct to which they were subjected,” he continued. “The behaviors in question violate every expectation we have of our faculty and the trust our students, and society, place in educators.”
“On behalf of Yale, I am deeply sorry Redmond’s behavior was not stopped once and for all when it was first reported,” he added.
Yale said in a press release that it is creating a formal monitoring plan that will “ensure that any disciplinary decision that includes forward-looking prohibitions will be well-understood and enforced by all relevant offices and staff, both today and as far into the future as necessary.”
Salovey also noted that the university will follow the recommendations outlined in Daly’s report, in order to prevent any similar encounters in the future.
Meanwhile, Redmond allegedly declined Daly’s requests for an interview and “tried to obstruct” her investigation “by encouraging some witnesses not to cooperate with us, to provide false information, or to withhold relevant information,” according to the report.
Despite the evidence compiled by Daly—including 1,450 documents and 100 witnesses—Redmond has consistently denied any wrongdoing and in a statement to The Yale Daily News, he “categorically and vehemently” rejected the allegations.
Redmond has also called the accusations “slanderous and defamatory.”
*John is a pseudonym used to represent one of the student encounters described in the report. The Daily Beast does not identify sexual-assault survivors without their consent.