MANHATTAN (CN) – Several former patients are suing the New York City gynecologist who admitted last year to performing unwanted oral sex on them, as well as the hospital they say allowed him to continue working.
Robert Hadden pleaded guilty last February to conducting pap smears, vaginal and breast exams that served no medical purpose and performing unwanted oral sex on several of his patients, some of whom were pregnant.
Prosecutors offered him a plea deal that included no jail time, community service, or probation. He merely lost his medical license.
Unsatisfied with the justice meted out, four of those women took matters into their own hands, suing the doctor and his former employers in New York City Supreme Court on Wednesday.
In their 100-page complaint, the anonymous women say Hadden sexually abused female patients for nearly two decades. They also say he slandered them when he claimed they were after a “money grab” and that, along with the New York District Attorney’s Office, they were conducting a “witch hunt” of a “respected doctor.”
Two of the women in the complaint—one of whom was 25 years old at the time—allege that Hadden licked their vaginas during each of their examinations.
The lawsuit also claims that New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and several physician groups that had employed Hadden—also named as defendants in the suit—were complicit in the abuse.
The medical facilities “simply moved [Hadden] from one clinic to another clinic in an effort to conceal his criminal activity,” even during an ongoing criminal investigation against him, the women claim.
An email seeking comment from New York Presbyterian Hospital, which also owns Columbia, was not immediately returned Friday.
Hadden has been accused of sexually assaulting patients as far back as the 1990s, but he had continued to work at the facilities. The accusations made newspaper headlines in 2013, with several former patients and at least one former staffer alleging assault in private suits.
Many of those early lawsuits were dismissed on technical grounds or for lack of standing.
Finally, in June 2014, Hadden was criminally charged with the assaults. Prosecutors say he conducted frequent unnecessary breast and vaginal exams on the women, asked them inappropriate questions about their sex lives, and conducted oral sex on some patients.
Hadden initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, with his attorney calling him a “physician with an impeccable reputation.” After the indictment, Hadden sought the unredacted medical records of several of his accusers. His lawyer, Isabelle Kirshner, claimed Hadden knew one of the women had a sexually transmitted disease and that he never would have performed oral sex on her.
In February 2016, after evidence mounted against him, Hadden pleaded guilty to assaulting several of his patients in his Upper West Side offices when the nurses left the room.
As part of the plea agreement, Hadden, now 58 years old, lost his medical license and agreed not to seek a medical license in another state. He also was registered as a low-tier sex offender in New York State.
The four women who sued Hadden on Wednesday are represented by Anthony DiPietro in New York City.