Former OBGYN Robert Hadden sentenced to 20 years in sex abuse case involving 200+ victims
A former Columbia University gynecologist convicted of sexually assaulting dozens of women has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
Robert Hadden, whose victims were assaulted in his medical offices in Manhattan between at least 1993 and 2012, received the maximum sentence for each of the four counts against him.
He will serve the sentences concurrently, for a total of 20 years – rather than consecutively, which would have meant a total of 80 years in prison – followed by supervised release for the rest of his life.
The sentencing guidelines in the case called for 15 years of jail time per count followed by ten years of supervised release.
“This case is like no other in my experience in terms of horrendous, beyond extraordinary, depraved sexual assault,” said Judge Richard M. Berman. “Unquestionably outside the guidelines of the sentencing range.”
Prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence Hadden to 25 years in prison. Defense attorneys requested three years behind bars.
More than $236 million in settlement money has been handed out to more than 200 former patients.
Last month, eleven of Hadden’s victims made emotional statements about their continuing pain as they asked a federal judge to keep him behind bars as long as possible.
Many of the women spoke anonymously in Manhattan federal court on June 28th as they described in detail the sexual abuse they suffered during visits to Hadden, 64, whose career at prominent hospitals including Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital spanned from the late 1980s until 2012.
“Robert Hadden is a sexual predator disguised in a white coat,” said one woman, who spoke under the pseudonym Emily Anderson.
Many of them thanked Judge Richard M. Berman, who will announce the sentence for Hadden.
Berman responded by praising the women as “brave” and “eloquent.”
The women included a former research nurse at Columbia University Irving Medical Center who says she hopes Hadden spends the rest of his life behind bars.
Hadden, of Englewood, New Jersey, was convicted in January of enticing victims to cross state lines so he could sexually abuse them. At trial, nine former patients testified.
He has been incarcerated for the last several months.
Hadden’s attorneys say he has lost 35 pounds and repeatedly been threatened with violence at a federal jail in Brooklyn, leading him to stay in his cell except to shower or call family members.
Prosecutors say Hadden’s abuse of women began soon after he started working in 1987 at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, which later became New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The institutions have agreed to pay more than $236 million to settle civil claims by more than 200 former patients.
Trial evidence proved Hadden committed anywhere from 167 to 310 acts of sexual abuse or assault on dozens of patients as he honed his abuse techniques so the assaults would go undetected for over 20 years, prosecutors wrote in a presentence submission.
Prosecutors said he sought sexual gratification when he asked victims “detailed, inappropriate, and medically unnecessary questions and provided unsolicited advice and commentary about their bodies, pubic hair, masturbation, sexual activity, sex toys, pornography, and sexual partners.”
Among those who spoke in court June 28th was Laurie Kanyok, who noted that it would be exactly 11 years on Thursday since she emerged from an appointment with Hadden and called police, setting off a state investigation that led to a plea deal but no jail sentence.
She said her own daughter is now 11 years old and she knows she’ll soon have to introduce her to gynecological care.
“This petrifies me,” she told Berman.