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N.Y. judge jails ex-gynecologist who abused hundreds of women: "Predator in a white coat"

Former N.Y. gynecologist Robert Hadden found guilty of sex trafficking
Former N.Y. gynecologist Robert Hadden found guilty of sex trafficking 02:40

New York — A former gynecologist convicted of sexually abusing patients was ordered to spend the next two months in jail as he awaits sentencing, a federal judge in New York City ruled Wednesday.

After hearing statements from some of the victims during the bail hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman tersely shot down defense attorneys seeking to allow the ex-doctor, Robert Hadden, to remain free while awaiting an April sentencing hearing.

"I'm done, and you're done," Berman was quoted by the New York Daily News as saying. Afterward, Hadden's attorneys filed papers appealing the judge's detention order.

Hadden had worked at two prestigious Manhattan hospitals — Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital — until complaints about his conduct shut down his career a decade ago.

Sexual Misconduct Doctor Charged
Robert Hadden, center, leaves the federal courthouse in New York on Jan. 24, 2023.  Seth Wenig / AP

More than 200 of his former patients have settled lawsuits against Columbia University, reaching agreements totalling more than $230 million — and the accusations against him were central to a campaign for the New York Adult Survivors Act, which in November opened a one-year window for survivors of sexual abuse to file lawsuits that would otherwise be barred by statutes of limitations.

Hadden, 64, of Englewood, New Jersey, was convicted last week after less than a day of deliberations at a two-week trial, in which nine former patients described how he sexually abused them during examinations, when they were most vulnerable.

One of his victims was Evelyn Yang, the wife of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who also ran unsuccessfully for New York City mayor.

Hadden's conviction in federal court on four counts of enticing victims to cross state lines so he could sexually abuse them carries a potential penalty of decades in prison.

After the verdict, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams issued a statement calling Hadden "a predator in a white coat."

At the time, the judge declined to send Hadden immediately to jail, but suggested that he was "mystified" that Hadden had avoided prison.

At Wednesday's hearing, the judge heard from nine women victimized by the doctor, as well as written statements from 43 other victims — all of whom urged the judge to immediately remand Hadden into custody.

He had been under electronic monitoring and had been free on $1 million bail.

Hadden's attorneys argued that he was not a flight risk, but federal prosecutors urged the judge to consider the severity of his crimes.

For Hadden's accusers, the federal case represents a second chance for a harsher punishment for the doctor. In his 2016 plea deal with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, Hadden surrendered his medical license but wasn't required to serve any jail time.

The district attorney at the time, Cyrus Vance Jr., defended his decision. Because a conviction wasn't assured, he argued, his office sought a plea deal to prevent Hadden from practicing medicine and from victimizing additional women. 

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that while hundreds of accusers sued over Hadden's conduct, his conviction involved a smaller number of cases.

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