A former Columbia University gynecologist accused of sexual assault by the wife of former Democratic presidential nominee Andrew Yang and others has been convicted of federal sex abuse, according to prosecutors.
Robert Hadden, 64, has been found guilty of four counts of inducing and deceiving people to travel interstate to engage in illegal sexual activity, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, the US said -District Attorney for the Southern District of New York in a release.
The allegations against Hadden first became widespread following an exclusive interview by CNN’s Dana Bash with Evelyn Yang and a series of reports from CNN’s investigative unit. Following this reporting, numerous women came forward saying they had also been attacked by Hadden.
US Attorney Damian Williams called Hadden a “white coat predator”.
“For years he cruelly lured women seeking professional medical care into his offices to masturbate,” Williams said in a statement. “Hadden’s victims trusted him as a doctor, only to fall victim to his despicable predilection instead.”
Williams thanked all of the “brave women who came forward to tell their stories, many of whom testified in court to end his year-long cycle of abuse.”
Federal Judge Richard Berman denied prosecutors’ request to keep Hadden in custody pending his sentencing, which is scheduled for April 25. Berman also declined to keep Hadden in custody pending his bail hearing, which is scheduled for February 1 at 12 noon.
Several of Hadden’s victims made emotional statements about his abuse at a pre-trial hearing held immediately after his sentencing on Tuesday, and asked Berman to have Hadden remanded in custody immediately.
Prosecutors told the judge they fear Hadden will harm himself or flee the court if he is not arrested before his scheduled court appearance.
The judge said he found it “unimaginable” that someone with “compulsions” like Hadden would not continue to pose a threat to the community, but still denied the motion to remand the registered sex offender pending the parties’ additional briefs submit this matter.
Hadden had previously been charged with six counts of federal molestation, but earlier this month prosecutors filed a “streamlined” indictment charging him with four counts of enticement and enticing people to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity , said Nicholas Biase, spokesman for the US law firm for the Southern District of New York.