LOS ANGELES - Former University of Southern California gynecologist George Tyndall pleaded not guilty to sex-related charges when he appeared before a judge Friday at the criminal courts building in downtown Los Angeles. Tyndall was charged with sex-related crimes against 16 of his former patients.
One of the alleged victims asked the judge to "expedite the process as much as possible," adding that the victims have been waiting "a long time to see justice."
"Our day will come, justice will come. We will see Tyndall tried and accounted for," said the alleged victim outside the courthouse. "He will go to court and he will go to jail."
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The 76-year-old worked at USC's health clinic for almost three decades. His patients were as young as 18, 19 and 20, according to officials.
"That's how he gets away with this ... In their mind, they think what's being done is correct," said Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller.
Myeller added that Tyndall's patients were "unable to resist" because they were not aware of the nature of what Tyndall was doing.
He is charged with 27 felonies, 18 counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person and nine counts of sexual battery.
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Investigators said all the alleged crimes took place between 2009 and 2016 when Tyndall worked as a gynecologist at USC's health center.
Tyndall was charged in June 2019 following an LA Times 2018 article that investigated the allegations of sexual abuse. The defendant surrendered his medical license in September 2019, according to records from the Medical Board of California.
The women who came forward were former patients of Tyndall and allege the crimes were committed during their appointments at USC's student health center. The Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larr Paul Fidler found sufficient evidence to require Tyndall to stand trial on 18 felony counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person. The charges also allege that the women were "unconscious of the nature of the act" and that it served "no professional purpose," according to officials.
Attorneys for some victims argued that, following an internal investigation of complaints against Tyndall in 2016, the university paid Tyndall a substantial financial settlement, so he would quietly resign.
USC officials repeatedly denied allegations of a cover-up relating to Tyndall and have said that in response to the scandal, new protocols were implemented at its student health center to ensure any complaints are investigated and resolved by appropriate university officials and authorities. The university also said it has hired female, board-certified physicians and introduced patient education materials about sensitive examinations.
USC President Carol Folt released a statement in which she said, "I am deeply sorry for the pain experienced by these valued members of the USC community. We appreciate the courage of all who came forward and hope this much-needed resolution provides some relief to the women abused by George Tyndall."
If convicted, Tyndall could face up to 64 years in prison. Tyndall's attorney stated that his client has been "adamant from Day 1 that he did not do these alleged crimes."
FOX 11's Mario Ramirez contributed to this report.