Annenberg Radio

USC alumnae testify to being sexually assaulted by disgraced former USC gynecologist George Tyndall

It was a calm yet slightly uneasy atmosphere in the courtroom on the second day of the preliminary hearing

Four USC alumnae took the stand in Los Angeles Superior Court this week for the preliminary hearing of disgraced gynecologist George Tyndall.

Tyndall currently faces thirty-five counts of sexual assault and battery charges for crimes allegedly committed during his near 30 year tenure at USC.

The alumnae testified to being among the women sexually assaulted by Tyndall while they were students.

Tyndall sat silent and stoic as the women recounted their traumas on the witness stand. The first to speak was identified as Jane Doe number 16. She recalled her sole visit with Tyndall at the USC Engemann Student Health Center in January 2016. She said that she scheduled an appointment to ask about an IUD as well as some mild spotting and was informed that the sole provider available to see her would be Tyndall.

Jane Doe 16 also noted that when she voiced her concern about having a male provider, she was reassured by an office staff member that Tyndall was “nice” and “gentle.” The appointment that followed, Jane Doe 16 recalled, was anything but.

For over an hour, Jane Doe 16 repeated her experience in open court as both prosecution and defense attorneys asked detailed questions about her assault. The cross-examination conducted by one of Tyndall’s defense attorneys left Jane Doe 16 visibly upset and she had to take a moment to collect herself during a short recess.

The second woman called to the stand, identified as Jane Doe 14, detailed multiple occurrences of sexual assault by Tyndall during pelvic exams. The first happened on August 25, 2014 when she was just a freshman.

She said that she left the appointment feeling humiliated and horrified by what she went through, but she initially disregarded her feelings as her overreacting because quote, “he’s a medical professional.” however, Jane Doe 14 testified to avoiding a follow-up appointment with Tyndall as he and members of his staff messaged her consistently for months. Jane doe 14 said that eventually, Tyndall reported her for being “non-compliant.”

She ended up having two follow-up appointments, one being a breast exam, and testified to outright refusing another pelvic exam suggested by Tyndall during the last one.

On day 2 of the preliminary hearing, it was a calm yet slightly uneasy atmosphere in the courtroom, as Jane Doe 13 and Jane Doe 11 testified to experiencing verbal abuse in addition to the physical. They recounted Tyndall saying inappropriate comments about their race and sexuality. The judge was seen slightly wincing as each woman detailed their experiences, Tyndall himself lowering his head at times. Both women needed to take a short recess before continuing their testimony.

All four women testified to receiving part of the $1.1 billion settlement from USC. The settlement was given to 310 victims of Tyndall’s assault. But for these women, reporting what happened was not about the money.

Jane Doe 14, who is now a resident physician at the University of Rochester said, “The money doesn’t matter to me. I don’t think I could sleep at night if I didn’t say anything. For the people who didn’t say anything.”

The hearing is scheduled to continue through the end of this week.