In the end, Dr. Robert Hadden, an OB-GYN from Columbia University's renowned hospital system, struck a deal with the district attorney's office in which he pleaded guilty to two of the nine charges against him and resigned his medical license. . Despite the initial recommendation to receive four years behind bars, he did not serve a prison sentence.
The deal also departed from the guidelines of a state disciplinary council and allowed Hadden to register himself as the lowest-level sex offender, which kept his name off a publicly searchable record.
With Yang talking about Hadden's abuses this week, this time publicly, the scrutiny returned to the Manhattan prosecutor's handling of the case and the broader obstacles that victims of sexual assault face when trying to hold the perpetrators accountable.
Although the police arrested Hadden in 2012, after a patient complained that he attacked her, the arrest was overturned and he was released as the prosecutor's office investigated. Yang told CNN that Hadden abused her after that point.
"It's like being slapped in the face and punched in the stomach," she said. "The prosecutor's office must protect us, serve justice and there was no justice here."
Several former patients in civil suits claim that Hadden manipulated them, making inappropriate sexual comments "in an effort to lower their limits and break their defenses", then abused them for "assaulting, groping, verbally assaulting and abusing, raping, sexually abusing and penetrate them "while performing unnecessary medical examinations.
Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Manhattan district attorney, defended Hadden's accusation for his office, claiming that the trials do not guarantee convictions and the deal he had with secured a felony conviction and the end of his medical career.
However, documents obtained at Vance's office by one of Hadden's accusers through a request for public records and shared with CNN show that prosecutors were initially prepared to accept an even milder deal with Hadden.
In a 2018 email, a prosecutor in Vance's office reacted to news of the case and said the initial settlement worked between Hadden's attorney and the prosecutor's office involving only one misdemeanor. When Hadden's lawyer "met with me to complain about the misdemeanor, I took her to a crime," she wrote.
Anthony DiPietro, a lawyer representing more than 30 former patients who are suing Hadden and Columbia University and its affiliates, argues that the public prosecutor's office essentially allowed Hadden to escape for sexual assault.
"He received what appears to be the equivalent of an early retirement," said DiPietro. "There was a well-coordinated effort between the public prosecutor … and Columbia University to basically give him the most favorable deal possible."
Hadden denied the charges of assault in court documents, in addition to the two charges – criminal sexual act in the third degree and forced touch – for which he pleaded guilty. Neither Hadden nor his civil defense lawyer commented on this story.
DiPietro questions whether Hadden's defense lawyer, Isabelle Kirshner, had a disproportionate influence on prosecutors. Kirshner previously worked at the Manhattan prosecutor's office, served as a member of Vance's transition committee and has donated about $ 6,000 since 2010 to Vance's campaigns for the public prosecutor.
During a call in 2018, Vance told one of Hadden's accusers, Marissa Hoechstetter, that he doesn't believe he ever spoke about the case with Kirshner. Vance contacted Hoechstetter after she repeatedly contacted the prosecutor's office to discuss her experience as one of Hadden's patients.
"Decisions about resolving the case were made with my assistant chief after talking to the sex crimes department. This is not an expression of disinterest. I am responsible for all decisions," Vance told Hoechstetter, according to a preliminary transcript of June 28, 2018, call the Hoechstetter obtained through a registration request.
Although Vance refuted the notion that any external relationship would affect decisions about Hadden, he told Hoechstetter that he has since pledged not to accept political contributions from lawyers who have had business with the prosecutor's office in the previous six months.
Kirshner says he saw no evidence that his political donations had an influence on the case. She told CNN that she attributed the terms of the deal to the "good lawyer".
"The initial offer was four years, but we raised enough factual issues with the case and, given the reluctance of the victims to speak in these cases, we were able to negotiate an agreement that everyone could agree on," said Kirshner.
Hoechstetter was not one of the victims described in Hadden's indictment, but says in a civil suit that Hadden abused her when she was his patient between 2009 and 2012. She told CNN that she sees a pattern in the handling of Hadden's cases, Jeffrey by the prosecutor Manhattan justice system. Epstein, Harvey Weinstein and others that involve wealthy and influential white men, accused or convicted of sexual assault.
Asked if she wants an apology, Hoechstetter said: "I don't want an apology. I want action. I want them to make changes. I want them to take responsibility and show me that people will be treated differently in the future."
In the case of Epstein, the prosecution's office sided with the multimillionaire's defense team in 2011 and asked Epstein to be labeled a level 1 sex offender. A judge rejected the request and called Epstein a Level 3 sex offender, which means that your designation will not expire and your name will appear on a public sex offender registry. The prosecution's office said its argument in that request was an error based on a legal misunderstanding and that the office subsequently agreed with the judge's determination. And the prosecutor’s office initially didn’t prosecute movie mogul Weinstein after allegations of sexual abuse surfaced in 2015, although he’s now being tempted on charges of rape and sexual assault. Weinstein pleaded not guilty.
In response to CNN's specific questions about the handling of the Hadden case, a spokesman for the Manhattan prosecutor's office said initially, "Our office does not comment on investigations or investigative measures taken."
After CNN notified the office of Evelyn Yang's public allegations on Thursday, Vance said: "While we maintain our legal analysis and the disposition resulting from this difficult case, we regret that this resolution caused the survivors pain."
The court documents filed in civil cases filed by Yang, Hoechstetter and others allege that the red flags in relation to Hadden have accumulated over decades.
A lawsuit details a nurse telling her supervisor in the early 1990s that she watched the gynecologist sexually abuse a patient. He was told to "be quiet" and "don't let him get in trouble", according to the lawsuit.
The documents filed by prosecutors in the criminal case allege that Hadden gave a woman who was his patient between 2006 and 2011 "breast exams during all prenatal visits, even if her pregnancy was normal and she had no complaints or concerns related to mama ".
Another patient told investigators that Hadden "would routinely examine her without the presence of a nurse" and that he "repeatedly squeezed her nipples" and on one occasion "patted her buttocks", according to those documents.
A nurse said that when she knocked on the door during one of these tests, "Hadden jumped back and away from the patient … he made no mention of what he was doing moments before and acted as if nothing had happened." the status of the documents.
Arrested, released and continued seeing patients
In June 2012, New York police were called to Hadden's clinic after a woman complained that he licked his vagina during an examination, according to a police report. Officers arrested Hadden.
Despite the gravity of the allegation, Hadden's arrest was overturned and he was released because "the case required significant investigation and time," according to statements by a prosecutor in Hadden's prosecution in 2014. "The arrest was overturned and the case was dismissed. investigated for sexual crimes, "added the prosecutor. "Since then, we've talked to dozens of other women, nurses and potential witnesses."
After his release, Hadden continued to see the patients. Evelyn Yang says that Hadden abused her during this period.
"What is very painful is to know that what happened to me could have been prevented," Yang told CNN. "Can you imagine the audacity of the man who … continues to do this after being arrested? It's as if he knew he wouldn't face any repercussions, that he was protected."
Columbia University did not answer CNN's questions about exactly when and on what terms Hadden's job ended. In a statement, the university called the allegations "disgusting" and said: "We deeply apologize to those whose trust has been violated".
Hadden's lawyer, Kirshner, says he continued to work at Columbia after his arrest, but was released in the middle of an internal investigation in the following weeks.
In 2014, a grand jury charged Hadden on five counts of a criminal sexual act, two counts of forced touching and two counts of sexual abuse.
During his complaint in June 2014, the public prosecutor's office said the case involved "numerous victims over the years" and recommended that Hadden be given four years in prison.
But in 2016, Hadden reached an agreement with prosecutors that allowed him to avoid arrest, pleading guilty to a felony for criminal sexual act in the third degree and a misdemeanor for forced touching, renouncing his medical license and registering as level one sex offender.
Hoechstetter became an advocate for the victims and talks about his experience. She also struggled to remove Hadden's name from her twin daughters' birth certificates. She pushed New York City lawmakers to …
. (tagsToTranslate) politics (t) Evelyn Yang received justice. See how the doctor she says attacked her was released – CNNPolitics