Robert Hadden Accused of Sexually Abusing Patients
The judge, Richard Berman, described Robert Hadden’s behavior as “lewd, serious, out of control, depraved, extraordinary,” and indicated that he would also be subject to a lifetime of supervision after his release, CBS News reported. The sentencing is expected to be finalized after the conclusion of the hearing.
Robert Hadden was indicted in 2020 for cases in which patients traveled from different states to see him and were sexually abused during what were supposed to be gynecological examinations. Prosecutors allege that Robert Hadden assaulted “dozens of female patients, including multiple minors” between 1993 and 2012. During his trial, evidence was presented relating to 40 victims, with a U.S. probation office report estimating the total number of potential victims to be around 245.
Several women who were patients of Robert Hadden for years testified during the trial, revealing that he abused their trust during medical examinations. He would often appear to conclude exams, only to assault them after a nurse had left the room. Robert Hadden’s predatory actions shattered the trust of his patients and caused severe emotional trauma.
While prosecutors asked for a 25-year sentence, Robert Hadden’s defense attorneys argued for a three-year sentence, contesting the claim that he lured patients across state lines. However, Judge Berman deemed Robert Hadden’s history of abuse and the vulnerability of his patients as reasons for the significantly longer sentence.
Robert Hadden had previously entered a guilty plea in 2016 to two New York State charges but had avoided jail time and was classified as the lowest level of sex-offender status. More than 200 of his former patients have reached settlements with Columbia University, where he worked, totaling over $230 million.
Robert Hadden’s Sentencing
The accusations against Robert Hadden played a significant role in advocating for the New York Adult Survivors Act, which allowed survivors of sexual abuse to file lawsuits despite statutes of limitations. The case has drawn public attention, and many of his former patients were present in court during the sentencing hearing.
The sentence, once finalized, will serve as a landmark moment for the survivors and a powerful message against sexual abuse by medical professionals. Columbia University has expressed profound regret for the suffering Robert Hadden’s patients endured and commended those who courageously came forward to share their experiences during the proceedings.