LOS ANGELES (CN) – The former University of Southern California campus gynecologist facing charges of sexual misconduct against 16 female patients listened to the words of alleged victims in court Tuesday before a Los Angeles County judge reduced his bail.
George Tyndall will be placed under house arrest with a GPS monitoring device – if he’s able to post bail – while he awaits trial on 29 felony charges.
Before his bail was reduced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Teresa Sullivan, a woman identified in court as Jane Doe #2 called the former USC physician a skilled, resourceful predator who if given the chance to post bail would disappear oversees.
A victim’s statement by Jane Doe #6 read in court said it would haunt her to know that Tyndall is free.
Outside the courtroom, Jane Doe #2 spoke to the media and identified herself as Lucy Chi, a former USC student who saw Tyndall once in 2012.
Chi is represented, along four other alleged victims in the criminal case, in a civil suit against USC by attorney John Manly.
“I didn’t realize how afraid I would be when I saw him,” said Chi. “I kind of felt terrified.”
Chi said Tyndall forced himself on her during a medical exam when she was a graduate student. She asked the court not to reduce Tyndall’s bail because he poses a risk to the public and his victims.
“I think this has affected every aspect of my life,” said Chi. “I find myself afraid of men. I find myself afraid of my husband. I find myself afraid of doctors. And this is me, I’m someone who is willing to speak out about this and I think about the victims who are afraid to come forward and how much it must affect them. It gives me strength to know that I can be a voice for those who are afraid to come forward.”
Prosecutors say Tyndall, 72, was carrying a loaded handgun, a box cutter and pepper spray when he was arrested during a traffic stop last month. Tyndall’s defense attorneys say the items were for protection.
Despite hundreds of women coming forward who claimed Tyndall performed gynecological exams that went beyond the extent of normal medical procedures, the criminal complaint filed in June involves just 16 women.
Sullivan factored in Tyndall’s lack of a criminal history and the fact that he has not practiced medicine since police announced the allegations made against him by multiple women and the start of the criminal investigation last year.
The judge reduced Tyndall’s bail from $2.1 million to $1.6 million. Defense attorney Leonard Levine said Tyndall’s condominium will be used as collateral for bail.
Sex crimes prosecutor Reinhold Mueller called Tyndall a flight risk, with no immediate family in the area and his estranged wife now living in the Philippines.
“He has every intent to flee,” said Mueller. Prosecutors say they found videos and photos of women’s genitals during a search of Tyndall’s home. Shortly after the search, Tyndall purchased a .38 caliber handgun.
Mueller said Tyndall sold these photos and videos, many taken of women who went into a gynecologist’s office for the first time in their lives.
“It’s a complete, total breach of trust,” said Mueller. “They’re totally vulnerable.”
Prosecutors also emphasized Tyndall’s familiarity with the Philippines.
Levine, Tyndall’s attorney, noted prosecutors did not mention any concerns about Tyndall being a flight risk at the press conference in which they announced the charges.
Outside the courtroom, Manly called for LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to recuse herself from the case given her close ties to the university as an alumna of USC’s Gould School of Law. He also said the university should be investigated by a special prosecutor separate from Lacey’s office.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents two of the alleged victims identified in the criminal case in a civil suit against USC, disagreed with Manly.
“I just don’t feel that I’m going to assist the defense in any way by criticizing the prosecutor,” Allred said at the same press conference with Manly.
A spokesperson for the DA’s office said in an email Lacey’s affiliation with USC has “no bearing on the decisions made by this office.”
Meanwhile, Jessica Gonzalez says she was a former patient of Tyndall in 2005 and saw him multiple times in a couple of months. “I didn’t know any better,” said Gonzalez. “He changed the trajectory of my life.”
Audry Nafziger says she saw Tyndall in 1990. She is now a senior deputy district attorney in Ventura County, and told reporters Tuesday she is concerned the judge did not bar Tyndall from possessing a gun.
The 25-year prosecutor previously ran the sex crimes division in Ventura County and joined Manly’s call for a special prosecutor to investigate USC. She compared the case to the sexual assault convictions of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar at Michigan State University.
“He is a danger to the public. He has been preying on women for 30 years. I’ve prosecuted sexually violent predators. He’s a monster,” Nafzinger said.