The University of Southern California has agreed to pay more than $1 billion in damages to women who were abused by the school’s former gynecologist.
On Thursday, USC‘s settlement, the largest sex abuse settlement against an American college or university in history, was announced. The lawsuit stems from hundreds of former female USC students and athletes who accused the school’s former gynecologist, George Tyndall, of sexual abuse. The women said Tyndall would abuse them during examinations; allegations about Tyndall were reportedly reported to the school for years, and the lawsuit claims USC did nothing to stop it.
An additional $850 million will be given to hundreds of women, which came out more than $1 billion combined with a previous class-action suit, CBS News reports.
Tyndall was arrested in June 2019; he pleaded not guilty to 35 criminal charges. The outlet reports that he will return to court on Friday. Many of the alleged victims have shared their stories while also highlighting USC’s alleged negligence.
“I knew there was something wrong with the way he talked to me and the filthy disgusting stories he told me, but when he was taking pictures under the guise of treatment…I didn’t know those things were wrong,” said Audry Nafzinger, now a sex crimes prosecutor. “They are a very powerful institution, USC, and the fact that they just didn’t care and threw us to the wolves is so disgusting.”
In 2018, one of Tyndall’s alleged victims said the man sexually assaulted her under the pretense that he was performing a regular exam. “Using two fingers, he performed an examination in a deeply massaging, sort of penetrating motion,” said Anika Narayanan, who added that she’d never gone to a gynecologist before visiting Tyndall.
University of Southern California president Carol Folt said in a statement that she is “deeply sorry.” The women said the money doesn’t fix the pain they endured and will continue to endure.