The History of the USC Sexual Assault Allegations
Although USC has acknowledged receiving complaints about Dr. Tyndall as far back as the early 2000s, the lawsuits brought against Dr. Tyndall and USC officials accuse the university of ignoring and even actively concealing evidence of the doctor’s crimes for decades, while allowing Tyndall to remain on campus where he could harm additional victims. For instance, one woman who allegedly underwent two exams as part of a study with Dr. Tyndall 30 years ago, alleges that the gynecologist forced her to strip naked and physically violated her while making lewd comments about her body. The woman filed a complaint with USC officials in 1988, stating that she felt she had been “mistreated” and “molested” during the exams, but says the university ignored her claims and continued to employ the doctor as the campus gynecologist for another 30 years.
It wasn’t until June 2016, after receiving yet another complaint about Dr. Tyndall, this time from a staff member at the university clinic, that the Office of Equity and Diversity at USC finally decided to launch an investigation into the alleged misconduct, which included surveying 2,500 student patients about their experiences with the gynecologist. Following the survey, Tyndall was placed on administrative leave, and never returned to treating students. Even still, the doctor’s employment wasn’t officially terminated until June 2017. In a statement issued after the sexual abuse lawsuit was filed against Tyndall and the university in May 2018, USC Provost Michael Quick lamented, “I apologize to our students who were mistreated by Dr. Tyndall. This should never happen to anyone, least of all one of our students.”