Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has opened a new investigation into a notorious obstetrician who has been accused of sexual abuse by more than 70 women, including Andrew Yang’s wife.
At least 31 women took part in a lawsuit against Robert Hadden, 61, after Evelyn Yang revealed in January that she had been sexually assaulted by the former Columbia University doctor.
Yang, who is the wife of the former Democratic presidential candidate, spoke about the alleged sexual abuse she had suffered from Hadden while pregnant with her first child.
“Something about going out and meeting people and seeing the difference we’ve already made has already caused me to tell my own story about it, about sexual abuse,” she said CNN.
Yang said she started seeing Hadden in New York for the first time in early 2012.
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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance (photo) has opened a new investigation into a notorious obstetrician who has been accused of sexual abuse by more than 70 women, including Andrew Yang’s wife
At least 31 women took part in a lawsuit against Robert Hadden (left), 61, after Evelyn Yang (right) revealed in January that she had been sexually assaulted by the former Columbia University doctor
As the months progressed, Yang said, Hadden began asking inappropriate questions about her sexual activity and spending more time investigating.
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 until it was over,” she told CNN.
After the doctor left the room, she left the practice and did not return.
Since the Yang interview, 40 more women have been raised with allegations against Hadden, prompting DA Vance to start a new investigation.
In a statement to CBS, DA’s office said, “District attorney Vance has assigned upcoming sex crime chief Coleen Balbert and senior prosecutor Mimi Mairs to lead the investigation into new claims, and our prosecutors are in contact with a representative of a number of survivors.”
Andrew Yang said he was “exceptionally proud” of his wife Evelyn (pictured together) for telling her story and no one deserves to be treated the way she was
“We admire the courage of the survivors who have recently shared their stories. Their voices will be heard and the abuse they have suffered will be thoroughly investigated, “the statement reads.
The DA’s office also strongly encourages “all survivors of Robert Hadden’s predatory behavior to call us at 212-335-9373.”
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.
Although the prosecutor’s office will investigate the new claims, many of the women who came forward to accuse the disgraced physician have also smothered the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for failing to make the sex offender heavier to get rid of.
Attorney Anthony DiPietro, who filed a civil proceeding against Hadden and Columbia University in 2018, 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.
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
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’d just broke up with her boyfriend and Hadden 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’s 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 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 (in the photo with her husband in November) received a letter in the e-mail stating that Hadden had left the practice. Curious, she looked him up online and saw that another woman had filed a police report accusing him of mistreatment
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
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,” said Andrew Yang.
“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 and respond to women.”
He later tweeted: “I love my wife very much.”
Many of the women who have come forward have told DiPietro that they feel abandoned by the earlier treatment by the judicial system of allegations against Hadden.
“He has something that sounds [more] such as an orchestrated retirement rather than an actual punishment for a serial sexual predator, “DiPietro said.
In the lawsuit that Yang and 31 other women have against Columbia University, its affiliates and Hadden, they claim they had “actively hidden, conspired and made possible the crimes of the physician,” CNN said.
The lawsuit also claims that medical assistants who worked with the doctor knew about the abuse but did not intervene because of an unbalanced power and lack of training.
Columbia University and the hospital system are challenging the procedure on procedural grounds.
A university spokeswoman told CNN in response to a detailed list of questions that the accusations are “disgusting” and “apologizing to those whose trust has been violated.”
Vance has come under fire because she has not protected the 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 came away with sexual violence.
Vance said in a statement to CNN: “Because a conviction is never a guaranteed outcome in criminal proceedings, our primary concern was to hold him accountable and ensure that he could never do this again – that’s why we insisted on a conviction and permanent waiver of his medical permit. “
Hadden has denied the allegations of attacks in legal documents, apart from the two points in his plea.