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Dr. Robert Hadden, who molested patients, convicted of sex trafficking

CBS New York 1/25/2023 Tim McNicholas

NEW YORK -- A jury on Tuesday found a former Manhattan-based gynecologist guilty of sexually abusing his patients and convincing them to travel over state lines to do so.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams called Robert Hadden "a predator in a white coat," and said Hadden lured in patients who trusted him for years, and then abused them.

Williams released that statement on Tuesday afternoon after a jury found Hadden guilty on all four counts.

"We were all, like, in agreement based on, like, the patterns of his... kind of what he did to all of his victims," one juror said.

"Day one, I was repulsed. He showed no remorse the entire trial," victim Liz Hall said.

Hall said she will never find closure, but added the verdict is an important step.

"When the first guilty verdict came in, I think what you heard were screams of joy," Hall said.

Those screams came from Hall and other victims inside the courtroom.

Hadden was a gynecologist who worked at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. In 2016, he surrendered his medical license but avoided prison time on sexual assault charges at the state level as part of a plea.

Tuesday's verdict was for federal charges that he lured patients over state lines and abused them.

"It hasn't fully hit us yet," Hall said.

Hall did not testify in the case because she says she lived in New York when she was abused, but she did provide a victim statement to the court.

"I think we're all still shaking and crying and trying to wrap our minds around it," Hall said.

Last fall, New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University Irving Medical Center agreed to pay more than $165 million to 147 former patients who had accused Hadden of assault.

Evelyn Yang, who first spoke out in 2020 about the abuse she suffered from Hadden, called the verdict a relief.

"My name is forever tied to Hadden's name, unfortunately. It has been very triggering over the years to see my name next to his, basically in every article, but it was worth it for today's outcome," Yang said.

Last fall, New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University Irving Medical Center agreed to pay more than $165 million to 147 former patients who accsued Hadden of assault.

Laurie Kanyok, a victim who testified in the federal trial, says she wants hospitals to increase their safeguards and require chaperones during medical exams.

"I think it's very important moving forward that we recognize that and start the process of everyone's safety," she said.

Each of the four counts against Hadden carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

His sentencing is scheduled for April 25.

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