Former health center gynecologist George Tyndall has hired criminal defense attorney Leonard Levine amid an increasing number of sexual misconduct lawsuits that allege sexual assault and misconduct toward patients during examinations.
Levine, one of Southern California’s most prominent defense lawyers, has represented teachers, clergy and celebrities accused of sex crimes. His former clients include NFL star Darren Sharper and actor Scott Baio.
“My role is to cooperate as much as I can with the investigation and to make sure that law enforcement has all the relevant information available regarding the practice of medicine by Dr. Tyndall at USC,” Levine told the Los Angeles Times.
In addition to the over 200 women who have filed suit since May 2018, nine more women sued Tyndall and the University this past week, with sexual misconduct allegations dating back to the 1980s.
While Tyndall has not been charged with criminal activity so far, the Los Angeles Police Department is currently conducting an investigation into complaints from over 130 individuals. In June, LAPD served search warrants for Tyndall’s home and storage facility, and later searched the University for documents and files.
“Dr. Tyndall is confident when all the facts are known, particularly the opinions of experts in the practice of obstetrics and gynecology,” Levine told the Daily Trojan. “It will be clear that his conduct, while engaged in the practice of medicine at USC, was consistent with the standard of care for such examinations, and for the stated medical purpose.”
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, alumna Joanna Massey stated that Tyndall photographed her genitals in 1990 because he claimed she had genital warts. However, she stated that other gynecologists said they not find any symptoms of genital warts in following years. According to the Times, Massey said Tyndall took those photos for personal use rather than for medical purposes.
Three of the nine women who filed suit this week were international students from China. Previously, Tyndall’s former colleagues were concerned that he targeted young patients specifically from China.
In another lawsuit filed on Monday, a former graduate student from China stated that Tyndall was her first gynecologist and therefore was unfamiliar with the practice’s standard medical procedures. The plaintiff stated that Tyndall told her that her vagina had an odor and proceeded to show her how to clean the area with soap in the back of his office. According to the lawsuit, Tyndall continued by demonstrating the procedure on his own genitals while he was alone with the student.
Todd Becker, an attorney representing the Chinese patients, explained to the Times that these women pursued legal action much later due to cultural differences. According to Becker, civil suits are looked down upon in China and by families as it would bring negative attention. “They don’t want to be causing embarrassment or shame for their family,” Becker told the Times. “There is a tendency to pretend it didn’t happen.