More than 70 women, including two teenagers, have now reported to accuse the infamous Manhattan physician Robert Hadden of sexual abuse.
More than 70 women, including two teenagers, have now reported to accuse the notorious Manhattan physician Robert Hadden of sexual abuse
Dozens of women joined the Hadden lawsuit after Andrew Yang’s wife revealed in January that she had been sexually abused by the former OB-GYN of Columbia University Medical Center in New York.
Evelyn Yang, wife of the former Democratic presidential candidate, spoke last month about the alleged sexual abuse she had suffered from Hadden while she was pregnant with her first child.
Hadden was accused in a case of sexual abuse involving six patients in 2016, but reached a deal and pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual acts and forced touch.
He was knocked out of the medical register but never served behind bars.
He also did not receive a probation or community service.
After Yang’s interview with CNN that uncovered the abuse, more than 40 new victims accused the accused physician and hit the Manhattan District Attorney office for failing to put the sex offender in a harder position.
Evelyn Yang, wife of the former Democratic presidential candidate, spoke last month about the alleged sexual abuse she had suffered from Hadden while she was pregnant with her first child
Andrew Yang said he was “extremely proud” of his wife Evelyn (pictured together) and no one deserves to be treated the way she was.
Lawyer Anthony DiPietro, who filed a civil proceeding against Hadden and Columbia University in 2019, said he will add the latest victims to the civil proceeding, bringing the total number of claimants to around 70.
Two of the victims were children, ages 15 and 16, at the time of the alleged abuse, he said.
One of his accusers, Emilia Heckman, a fashion model in her late 20s at the time, told CNN that Hadden had shown her pictures of his family and that she felt “comfortable” with him when she was his patient.
He soon began to make inappropriate questions or comments, such as asking her questions about her sex life and saying to her boyfriend “is so happy to have you,” said Heckman, now 36.
Hadden then attacked her sexually during an appointment in 2012, she said.
Heckman said Hadden had told the nurse to go home and leave her alone with her alleged abuser.
Emilia Heckman, one of Hadden’s accusers, said he asked inappropriate questions and comments, such as her questions about her sex life and her boyfriend saying “is so happy you’re here”
Heckman said she had fled Hadden’s practice soon after allegedly attacking her and that she would never return
Hadden would have licked Heckman’s private parts while she had her feet in stirrups and her legs draped for a medical examination.
“First they were wearing gloves, and all that,” said Heckman. “And then it turned into no gloves, a tongue and a beard. … and I shrank back. “
Heckman said she fled quickly and never returned.
Another prosecutor, Jessica Chambers, now a replacement primary school teacher in Wyoming, said she was a 23-year-old student at New York City College and had never had a gynecological exam before being attacked by Hadden in 2004 .
She said that he had started ‘friendly’, but that she felt uncomfortable because the exam went on for a long time, with a supervisor present.
“He had his fingers in me – I couldn’t tell if he was wearing gloves,” she said.
“And he had a long conversation with me while he had his fingers in me. … I remember that I wanted to get out of that position. “
Chambers said they were talking about how she had just ended up with her boyfriend, and Hadden had asked her if she was able to climax and how.
“I find it very strange. But “he is a doctor, we are in Columbia – clearly what is going on here must be normal and natural,” she told CNN.
When the attendant left the room, Hadden grabbed her leg and then began to touch her vagina with bare hands as he told her how excitement happens.
“He held me a little,” she said. “I didn’t know if I was just naive and I didn’t want to do anything that would be weird.”
Chambers said she came forward after she read about the sexual assault Yang suffered and recognized her abuser as her own person.
Yang started about her sexual assault in an interview with CNN in January.
She said she was encouraged to speak up after seeing the positive reception she and her husband had received on the campaign track by being open about their son’s autism.
Hadden, pictured outside his home, was accused in a sexual abuse case involving six patients in 2016, but reached a deal and pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual acts and forced touch. He lost his medical license but did not serve a prison sentence
“Something about going out and meeting people and seeing the difference we’ve already made has caused me to tell my own story about it, about sexual abuse,” she said CNN.
Yang said they first saw Hadden in 2012 in New York. As the months progressed, Yang said Hadden began asking inappropriate questions about her sexual activity and would continue to investigate for longer.
When she was seven months pregnant, Yang said, she believed that her appointment had been made and that she was getting ready to leave when the doctor abruptly told her he thought she might need caesarean section. She said Hadden had pulled her over and undressed her and then used his fingers to examine her internally.
“I knew it was wrong. I knew I was being attacked, “she said.
But Yang said she “just froze a little” and didn’t respond. “I remember trying to focus my eyes on a spot on the wall and just trying to prevent him from seeing his face as he attacked me, just waiting for it to pass,” she said.
After the doctor left the room, she left the practice and did not return.
Yang said she was initially too scared to tell anyone what had happened.
She said she blamed herself, thinking she must have done something to “invite this kind of behavior.”
Months later, after the couple’s son was born, Yang received a letter in the email stating that Hadden had left the practice.
Curious, she looked up at him online and saw that another woman had filed a police report accusing him of mistreatment.
She said she realized then that she was not to blame for his actions.
“This was a serial predator and he chose me just like his prey,” she said.
She said that only then could she reveal the alleged abuse to her husband.
Andrew Yang said that he was “extremely proud” of his wife and that no one deserves to be treated the way she was.
“When victims of abuse come forward, they deserve our faith, our support, and protection,” Yang said.
“I hope the story of Evelyn gives strength to those who have suffered and gives a clear message that our institutions must do more to protect women and respond.”
Another of his accusers, Marissa Hoechstetter, played an important role in introducing a law in New York that allows parents to have the name of a doctor removed from a child’s birth certificate if they lose their medical license.
Hoechstetter (pictured with NYC speaker Corey Johnson) called on Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance to resign for “not protecting victims of sexual violence” after Hadden had reached a plea in 2016 for indictment for sexual violence
The revelations by Evelyn Yang led to more women coming forward and accusing the doctor of sexual abuse.
Forty women have brought their allegations to DiPietro in the last month alone, and many want Hadden to be taken to court again and feel abandoned by earlier treatment by the judicial system of allegations against the shamed doctor.
“He has something that sounds [more] such as an orchestrated retirement rather than an actual punishment for a serial sexual predator, “DiPietro said.
The lawsuit also claims that medical assistants who worked with the doctor knew about the abuse but did not intervene because of a power inequality and lack of training, CNN said.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has come under fire for not protecting victims of sexual violence.
Protesters took to the streets of New York in January to ask for his resignation and said Hadden’s plea was on a long list of rich, white men who got away with sexual assaults.
Hadden, 61, has denied the allegations of attacks in judicial documents, apart from the two points in his plea.