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Feds probing the alleged sexual abuse of USC gynecologist George Tyndall

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The US Department of Education UU He opened an investigation into how the University of Southern California handled complaints that a gynecologist at the campus health clinic for a long time harassed or abused his patients during pelvic exams.

The agency's Office of Civil Rights will examine USC's response to reports of such misconduct by Dr. George Tyndall going back to 1990, but the university did not fully investigate them until spring 2016, the department said. a statement.

"No student should endure sexual harassment or abuse while trying to continue their education," said Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in the statement.

The university acknowledged not having acted correctly in at least eight complaints that were filed against Tyndall between 2000 and 2014, but were never revealed until they were discovered during the course of an investigation that USC finally opened in 2016.

Tyndall was suspended at that time, and was allowed to resign quietly in 2017 after the USC investigation concluded that his pelvic exam practices were beyond accepted medical standards and that he had harassed patients.

The revelation that the university decided not to inform Tyndall immediately to the state medical board, and only eight months later, when he sought his reinstatement, provoked a great protest by students, professors and alumni.

The furor led the president of the university, C.L. Max Nikias will resign after almost eight years as director of one of the most prestigious private higher education institutions in the United States.

His dismissal came as the USC faced a rising tide of civil litigation accusing Tyndall of misconduct and the university of complicity and negligence, as well as a criminal investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.

LAPD detectives said last month they were investigating 52 complaints filed by former Tyndall patients, alleging incidents of misconduct from 1990 to 2016. In addition, a USC hotline and a special website has received more than 400 reports of concerned patients, the Times said.

Tyndall, 71, could not be reached for a comment from Reuters, but denied having committed any crime in interviews with the Los Angeles Times, which was the first to report the scandal.

The Department of Education investigation will examine whether the handling of the matter by the university constituted a violation of civil rights under Title IX of the federal education statutes that prohibit sex discrimination.

The Supreme Court of the USA UU Has interpreted that Title IX requires schools to respond appropriately to reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence against students

(Report by Steve Gorman; Edited by Michael Perry)

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