Columbia University
NYPD Release Surveillance Footage Of Suspect Involved In Playground Sexual Assault Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Several women had claimed that their former gynecologist, Robert Hadden, had sexually abused them. On Wednesday, some of the victims reached a $71.5 million settlement.

According to a press release from a law firm representing the women, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center reached the settlement with 79 victims who were treated by Hadden at one point of time. The money will be distributed under the direction of an independent special master chosen by lawyers representing the victims and the hospital system.

Adam P. Slater, a lawyer who is representing victims, called Hadden "an evil man who preyed upon his patients, many of whom entrusted him with their healthcare and that of their unborn children." According to the lawyer, this resolution along with the ongoing federal prosecution of the former gynecologist will "hopefully reduce their trauma, allow them to find some measure of closure and put this horrific ordeal behind them."

Columbia University Irving Medical Center senior vice president and Chief Operating Officer Donna Lynne said that all the patients deserve to "be treated with dignity and respect and to be safe and secure." She apologized as Hadden "violated these fundamental obligations."

According to prosecutors, the former doctor was indicted last year for six counts of enticing and inducing several victims to travel to his New York offices and sexually abusing them from around 1993 to 2012, reported CNN. The charges involved five adults and a minor, but Hadden pleaded not guilty. Hadden had “inappropriately touched, squeezed and even licked his victims” while purportedly conducting medical examinations, said Audrey Strauss, then the acting US attorney in Manhattan, according to NBC New York.

Meanwhile, claims by dozens of other women, who were his patients earlier, have not been settled, reported CBS News. Two of his former patients who allege they were abused by him, criticized Columbia in a statement Wednesday saying that they are "appalled at the audacity of Columbia University's statement."

They said that to use this settlement with victims to "applaud themselves is reprehensible." They said that they support those who agreed to the settlement, but they intend to "fully expose the institutional coverup that resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of women being sexually abused by" him over his "20 plus year tenure at Columbia University."

Columbia University
People sit on the grass at Columbia University as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on September 28, 2020 in New York City. The fourth phase allows outdoor arts and entertainment, sporting events without fans and media production. Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images