In the latest development in Robert Hadden's case, a judge rejected arguments Wednesday that were targeted at dismissing sexual abuse charges against the former doctor.

A request by Hadden's lawyers that his next trial be moved outside of New York was also rejected by US District judge Richard M. Berman, reported Associated Press.

The former gynecologist, who is a resident of Englewood, New Jersey, was arrested last year, and he has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of sexually assaulting dozens of young female patients for several years. He reportedly tried to make his victims believe that the abuse was medically necessary and appropriate.

The investigation started last year, said prosecutors, according to NBC New York. The probe began before getting an indictment charging the former doctor with bringing patients, including several minors, across state lines to sexually abuse them from around 1993 to 2012.

Berman noted Wednesday that defense lawyers stated that the federal government was prosecuting the sexual abuse case as a tool of state prosecutors, but he called the theory “far-fetched, speculative, conclusory.” The judge said that though a New York district attorney did not refer the case to federal authorities, it would not be improper if it had actually happened.

The 63-year-old former doctor remains free on $1 million bail, and his trial is scheduled for March 28, 2022. Berman also rejected a request to change the venue of the trial, saying that half of the jury pool in Manhattan federal court comes from outside Manhattan and pretrial publicity was not pervasive.

While Hadden worked at Columbia University and New York Presbyterian Hospital, the abuse allegedly happened at medical offices and Manhattan hospitals.

Earlier this month, Latin Times reported that some of his victims reached a $71.5 million settlement. Seventy nine victims reached the settlement with Columbia University and New York Presbyterian Hospital.

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

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