LOS ANGELES (CN) – Police say they are investigating 52 complaints from former patients of a University of Southern California gynecologist who has been accused of inappropriate exams and behavior while examining female students at a university clinic.
Allegations against Dr. George Tyndall, 71, extend over a 26-year period, said the Los Angeles Police Department at a Tuesday press conference. Former patients described conduct that went beyond the extent of a normal medical examination.
According to a lawsuit filed by four former patients in May, Tyndall used “his position of trust and authority to sexually abuse plaintiffs on multiple occasions, by engaging in acts that include but are not limited to: forcing plaintiffs to strip naked; groping plaintiffs’ breasts, digitally penetrating plaintiffs’ vaginas, and spread open their anal crevice so he could leer at the crevice and anus, for no legitimate medical purpose and for no other reason than to satisfy his own prurient sexual desires.”
Several former patients are suing USC and Tyndall in Los Angeles County, claiming the university ignored the doctor’s “sexually abusive behavior dating back to at least the year 2000” according to one of the civil complaints.
Police are asking for other former patients to come forward as they conduct their investigation.
Last week, USC President C.L. Max Nikias stepped down, amid an outcry from students and alumni over the lack of response from the administration.
The allegations against Tyndall were first reported by the Los Angeles Times earlier this month, including complaints dating back several years that were either ignored or not reported to the medical board.
Since those allegations were first reported, USC has set up a hotline for other former patients to contact the school who are coordinating with police. Police are also asking former international students to be notified if they were former students of Tyndall.
Police say the number of former patients who have come forward is likely not accurate of the potential victims, said Capt. Billy Hayes with the LAPD.
“Dr. Tyndall saw some ten thousand students, probably over the course of his career that expanded from 1990 to 2016. We believe that with only 52 people coming forward at this point in time, that’s probably not an accurate representation of the people who saw him and the potential individuals that might have been victims,” Hayes said.
LAPD officials said 39 former patients contacted USC and 13 more reached out to the LAPD through a hotline setup as part of the investigation.
While the current allegations date back to 1990 police said they are still in the process of determining whether the allegations will result in criminal charges. Hayes said some of the patients could have been minors when they were seen by Tyndall but could not provide an accurate estimate.
Tyndall retired last year, according to media reports.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.