Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Prosecutors have charged a former Columbia University gynecologist with sexually abusing six victims, including a minor, under the guise of performing medical procedures over nearly two decades.
Unsealed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the indictment charges Robert Hadden with enticing and inducing six victims to travel interstate to engage in illegal sexual activity.
Audrey Strauss, the acting U.S. attorney for the southern district, told reporters during a press briefing that the 62-year-old former professor had been arrested in New Jersey that morning.
"The allegations set forth in the indictment show Hadden acted as a predator in a white coat," she said.
While charged with six victims, the indictment accuses him of sexually abusing dozens more from 1993 to at least 2012.
Strauss said Hadden used his prestigious positions to convince his victims to travel, some across the country, to his Manhattan office where he'd abuse them under the guise of performing normal medically necessary procedures for his own sexual gratification.
Hadden's pattern of abuse consisted of ordering nurses and medical assistants out of the room so he could be alone with his victim, whose trust he'd work to gain before engaging in abuse, she said.
"Hadden inappropriately touched, squeezed and even licked his victims in the course of what his victims thought were medically necessary, gynecological and obstetric examinations," she said, accusing Hadden of scheduling the frequency of his abuses through methods such as enticing his victims to return to his office by offering them free birth control.
She accused Hadden of targeting young women and those who lacked experience with gynecologists, including a minor whom he had delivered when she was born.
Evelyn Yang, the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, has accused the doctor of abusing her when she was pregnant, and she thanked the prosecutors in a statement on Wednesday for charging Hadden.
"This physician abused dozens of women, including minors, under the guise of practicing medicine and should not be walking free," she wrote.
Each of Hadden's six counts carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and Strauss encouraged anyone else who may have been victimized by Hadden to contact the authorities.