Women who claim to have been abused by USC gynecologist George Tyndall shared their stories on Thursday, alleging widespread abuse which happened mostly in his practice.
Hundreds of women have accused Tyndall of sexual misconduct.
Some of the most shocking are that he inserted his bare fingers in women’s genitalia under the guise of giving them exams.
Others say he took photographs of their genitals and one woman recalled him removing a tampon while she visited him and him ‘dangling’ it in front of her face.
Speaking in a joint appearance on Today, the five women all told how Tyndall, who has been accused of abuse by at least 100 women but denies wrongdoing, touched them inappropriately or made up medical reasons to examine them.
They also described how he tried to groom them by telling them they were ‘beautiful’.
Lucy Chi (left) one of five women who spoke out on Thursday to say gynecologist George Tyndall abused them, said he told her he was beautiful while she had her legs in his stirrups. She added later that he molested her. Right, Audry Nafzeiger, who also says she was molested
Kellyna Fox (left) claimed Tyndall told her she had to have a pap smear before he could give her birth control when she was just 18. Shernae Hughes (right) said she was saddened the women’s complaints went unheard for so long. Tyndall has been accused of misconduct by hundreds of people
‘While I was in the stirrups, he told me I was beautiful,’ said Lucy Chi, a former student and alleged victim.
Allison Rowland, another former student, said Tyndall told her she had HPV when she didn’t so that he would have an excuse to examine her genitals
Kellyna Fox said he told her she would have to undergo a pap smear before she could start birth control when she was just 18.
Allison Rowland, another of his alleged victims, said he told her she had HPV when there was ‘no evidence’ of it just so give himself an excuse to touch her genitals.
‘He diagnosed me with HPV. There’s no physical evidence in my body that I had a disease. He lied,’ she said.
Chi said she fell for his ‘grooming’ techniques which she thought were just his ‘style’.
‘I thought this was his style and I thought maybe I’m just uncomfortable with his style.
‘It wasn’t his style – he was a sexual predator and he sexually molested me, along with thousands of women.
Dr. George Tyndall, USC’s staff gynecologist for nearly three decades, is accused of sexually harassing female students during exams
Tyndall was fired last year as the result of an internal investigation into his practices.
Police have received more than 100 complaints about him but his alleged predatoriness went unknown until a Los Angeles Times expose last month.
In response to that piece, he denied any wrongdoing but he remains free and able to practice medicine.
On Thursday, the women said they felt as though their voices were not being heard.
‘It’s painful to know that our collective voices ultimately meant near nothing to USC,’ Shernae Hughes, another of the women who spoke on Today, said.
As more claims against Tyndall emerge, the federal government is investigating whether anyone at USC covered up the allegations.
In a statement recently, the university apologized to students who say they were his victims.
‘On behalf of the university, I sincerely apologize to any student who may have visited the student health center and did not receive the respectful care each individual deserves,’ former USC president Max Nikias said last month.
The Department of Education is still investigating allegations they were covered up.
More than two dozen lawsuits have been filed against the gynecologist, who was suspended with pay in 2016 and then retired the following year with a financial payout from the university.
Student Daniella Mohazab (pictured on the right with her attorney Gloria Allred) accused Tyndall of performing an exam without wearing gloves and making an inappropriate comment during a 2016 exam at his clinic
Allegations against Tyndall date back to as early as 1990. USC did not launch into investigation into the gynecologist until 2016.
The school also failed to disclose the complaints during an earlier sexual harassment investigation, according to the Department of Education.
‘No student should ever endure sexual harassment or abuse while trying to pursue their education,’ Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in the statement. ‘Every student on every campus should have a safe learning environment.’
‘We welcome the US Department of Education’s investigation and the university will fully cooperate with their inquiry,’ Rick Caruso, Chairman of the USC Board of Trustees, said in a statement.
One woman, now a lawyer, told The New York Times that she’s had an appointment with the gynecologist shortly before graduating from USC in 2007.
During the pelvic exam, she said claims he inserted several fingers inside her, before saying ‘you know what they say about tall women, right?’
‘It was just the grossest thing, but what are you supposed to do?’ she said. ‘Are you supposed to punch this person? You can’t even recoil; he’s physically inside you.’
The woman, who is more than six feet tall, took his comment to mean she had a large or loose vagina. She said the comment stayed with her for years and made her self conscious during sex, although she didn’t report him at the time – something she feels angry about today.
‘One of the worst parts is that I feel like a dumb girl,’ she said. ‘I spent all this money on a fancy education, but I am this dumb broad who just didn’t report something awful.’
The lawyer says she would consider joining any legal action against USC.
Another woman, identified only as Sarah, described how she’s gone to see Tyndall when she was a freshman, concerned over a very heavy period.
But during the exam, without any explanation, she claimed he removed her tampon and ‘held it up for a very, very long time.’
Sarah said she found the experience ‘incredibly intrusive and inappropriate’, although she wasn’t sure whether it was something she could report at the time, but has seen a female gynecologist ever since.
Alexandra Nguyen, 23, said she felt very uncomfortable during her appointment with Tyndall in late 2015, after he reportedly made multiple comments about Asian women being beautiful, and telling her she could be a model.
Nguyen, who is now in medical school, said the doctor later commented on her ‘wetness,’ and asking how her ‘wetness’ compared to her friends.
‘After that experience I just never came back,’ she said.
One student to come forward is Daniella Mohazab, a USC student seeking a master’s degree in communications management.
During a press conference, she said Tyndall saw her at the clinic in 2016 for an STD test. Mohazab said Tyndall did not wear gloves during the exam and told her that ‘Filipinas are good in bed’.
The gynecologist was fired last year after an internal investigation into hundreds of complaints
‘I am still in shock that USC had heard about Dr. Tyndall’s inappropriate conduct and allowed him to continue practicing,’ Mohazab said at a press conference.
The Department of Education’s Officer for Civil Rights is looking into possible violations of Title IX, a federal civil rights program that has been legally interpreted as requiring schools to appropriately handle reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence. If violations are found, the agency can impose fines and potentially cut off the school’s access to further federal funds.
The allegations have similarities with the case of Larry Nassar, the disgraced former sports doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics now serving multiple life terms in prison. Michigan State agreed to a $500 million settlement with more than 300 of his victims.
One key difference with the high-profile case involving Olympic champions, though, is that Tyndall as a gynecologist could argue his treatments were within the scope of his medical expertise, legal experts have suggested.
Two administrators at USC have since been fired and president CL Max Nikias stepped down earlier this month.