Nearly 40 more women have come forward with accusations against gynaecologist Dr Robert Hadden, after former presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s wife said he had sexually assaulted her.
“Something about being on the trail and meeting people and seeing the difference that we've been making already has moved me to share my own story about it, about sexual assault”, the 38-year-old said in January.
She said she was assaulted by her doctor, who worked in the prestigious medical facilities at New York’s Columbia University, on multiple occasions.
In one instance, she said he performed an examination on her when she was seven months pregnant without wearing any gloves.
“I was in the exam room, and I was dressed and ready to go. Then, at the last minute, he kind of made up an excuse,” she said. “He said something about, 'I think you might need a C-section,' and he proceeded to grab me over to him and undress me and examine me internally, ungloved.”
Dozens of women had already come forward with accusations against the doctor prior to Ms Yang’s interview with CNN. However, her stepping forward appeared to cause a wave of previously-unknown victims to also share their stories with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
The latest victims included at least cases involving minors, according to attorney Anthony DiPietro, who told CNN he was adding the accusers to an ongoing civil lawsuit against the doctor and Columbia University. Ms Yang has also joined that lawsuit, which now included about 70 women.
Emilia Heckman, one of the woman who came forward following Ms Yang’s interview, told CNN about her appointments with the doctor: “At first it was gloves on, and all of that.”
“And then it transitioned to no gloves, a tongue and a beard,” she said, adding: “I recoiled.”
Hadden pleaded guilty to two charges of criminal activity, including a sexual act in the third degree and forcible touching.”
The plea deal allowed Hadden to register as the lowest-level sex offender possible. However, he can still be tried on new criminal charges depending on the individual circumstances of each case, according to CNN.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has defended the plea deal, saying in a statement: “Because a conviction is never a guaranteed outcome in a criminal trial, our primary concern was holding him accountable and making sure he could never do this again — which is why we insisted on a felony conviction and permanent surrender of his medical license.”
He added: “While we stand by our legal analysis and resulting disposition of this difficult case, we regret that this resolution has caused survivors pain.”