A gynecologist who once worked at Columbia University received a federal grand jury indictment for allegedly sexually abusing former patients. The latest developments come after the doctor pleaded guilty to similar charges in New York in 2016. The doctor struck a deal with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office that made it possible for him to avoid prison time after he was accused of sexual assault by 19 patients.

The New York Child Victims Act

Nearly 4,000 New York Child Victims Act sex abuse claims have been lodged since Governor Cuomo made it legal for child sex abuse survivors to seek both criminal and civil relief as adults. The lawsuit filings have happened over 18 months.

The federal case against the gynecologist identifies six victims of abuse, one of them a minor. The indictment also accuses the doctor of assaulting dozens of patients over a nearly 20-year period that began in 1993 and ended in 2012. The unnamed victims of the doctor during this time include both minors and adults.

Investigators say the doctor took the time to befriend his victims before moving forward with abusive conduct that he was able to present as medical care. Prosecutors say after gaining the trust of his victims, the gynecologist would perform “sexualized” breast and pelvic exams. These examinations would take place when no other medical staff was present.

The indictment explains the doctor targeted younger women without much prior knowledge regarding gynecological examinations. Prosecutors say the accused man was the first gynecologist for many women and the first that other women subjected to his abuse had seen after becoming pregnant. Prosecutors explain the point for the doctor was to target victims who did not know much what to expect from an exam. At least 78 women have come forward with allegations against the doctor, including the wife of a prominent politician.

Justice for victims

Sexual abuse leaves both child and adult victims feeling confused and alone. It is often difficult for these victims to tell anyone what happened to them due to the shame they feel over the incident. Sufferers of sexual abuse may be able to get justice for themselves by speaking with an attorney.