On Wednesday, a harrowing report from the Los Angeles Times revealed that University of Southern California’s George Tyndall acted as the campus health center’s primary gynecologist following multiple complaints of misconduct dating back to the 1990s. Tyndall is accused of making sexualized comments about patients bodies (including referencing penetrative intercourse while giving exams), photographing some students’ genitals, racially targeting patients—and has argued that those who reported him are doing so because they wish they had tighter vaginas. Yup. This is the tip of the iceberg: On Friday, the New York Times spoke to a handful of women who’ve come forward with their own stories of abuse at the hands of Tyndall—according to the Times, when USC created a hotline and website to collect complaints about Tyndall this week, they received over 100 accusations of misconduct.
Alexandra Nguyen, 23, told the Times she saw Tynall in 2015 and he spent the exam making inappropriate comments about “Asian women’s beauty,” attempting to greet her in Vietnamese. “He was telling me my skin was very beautiful and you could be a model,” she told the publication, adding that he was “out of line,” even commenting on her “wetness.” “After that experience I just never came back,” she said.
One woman, a lawyer who chose to remain anonymous, told the Times that Tyndall inserted multiple fingers inside her during a pelvic exam and joked “You know what they say about tall women, right?” She added, “It was just the grossest thing, but what are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to punch this person? You can’t even recoil; he’s physically inside you.”
She compared her situation to that of the patients of Olympic doctor Lawrence G. Nassar, who abused more than 300 women and continued to practice despite years of allegations. “I’d say, ‘They should have put their big-girl pants on and reported him.’ And all of a sudden yesterday, I realized, ‘Oh wait, that’s me.’ One of the worst parts is that I feel like a dumb girl. I spent all this money on a fancy education, but I am this dumb broad who just didn’t report something awful.”
Another woman, Sarah, recalls seeing Tynall with questions about her heavy menstruation, when he pulled out her tampon and “held it up for a very, very long time.” She said:
“I definitely told my friends that it was the most awkward doctor experience but it didn’t feel like there was something to report in that moment. I struggled to characterize it, but it was incredibly intrusive and inappropriate.”
According to the Times, staff members who worked with Tyndall are now accusing him of targeting Chinese students. From the report:
“Several staff members also accused Dr. Tyndall of targeting students from China, many of whom were seeing a gynecologist for the first time. On Thursday, the Chinese government issued a statement expressing “serious concerns” about the case and that they were seeking more details.
‘We ask the U.S.C. authorities to deal with the case in a serious manner, conduct an immediate investigation and take concrete measures to protect the Chinese students and scholars on campus from being harmed,” the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles said in a statement. “The consulate has all along attached great importance to the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens overseas, including Chinese students and scholars.’
The university said it was not yet clear how many of the new complaints were from Chinese students.”