USC reaches $850 million settlement with women alleging sex abuse
Updated Mar 25, 2021 7:09 PM EDT
The University of Southern California has reached the largest-ever sex abuse settlement against an American college or university, after hundreds of women accused former university gynecologist George Tyndall of sexual abuse. The settlement, announced Thursday, awards an additional $850 million to hundreds of women, bringing the total payout to more than $1 billion when combined with a previous class-action lawsuit.
Hundreds of former patients have accused Tyndall of sexually abusing them during examinations. The lawsuit claims the university knew about the complaints against him, yet did nothing to protect students.
Tyndall was arrested in June 2019 and has since pleaded not guilty to 35 criminal charges. He’s due back in court on Friday.
Some of his alleged victims have spoken out about the abuse and criticized the university for its handling of the allegations.
“I knew there was something wrong with the way he talked to me and the filthy disgusting stories he told me, but when he was taking pictures under the guise of treatment… I didn’t know those things were wrong.” said Audry Nafzinger, now a sex crimes prosecutor. “They are very powerful institution, USC, and the fact that they just didn’t care and threw us to the wolves is so disgusting.”
Anika Narayanan, who was interviewed by CBS News in 2018, said she had never been to the gynecologist before her appointment with Tyndall.
“Using two fingers, he performed an examination in a deeply massaging, sort of penetrating motion,” she said.
University of Southern California president Carol Folt said in a statement that she is “deeply sorry” for the pain experienced by the women. Folt said she hopes the settlement provides some relief — but the victims at a Thursday news conference said no amount of money can make up for what they experienced.
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