NEW YORK - Women who survived sexual abuse at the hands of Robert Hadden when he was an OB/GYN at Columbia University’s hospital and New York Presbyterian, gathered Tuesday to demand the university investigate and hold accountable anyone who may have covered up Hadden's crimes.
So far, 500 victims have stepped forward, making Hadden the face of one of the most shocking cases of sex abuse in US history.
"I was assaulted by Robert Haddon when I was pregnant with my twin," said one demonstrator.
Marissa Hoechstetter, a survivor of sexual abuse described how Hadden committed his crimes: "Grooming people, not using gloves during exams. Doing prolonged breast exams and telling people that things he was doing were medically necessary when they’re not."
Following a rally with survivors, students, faculty, and staff – the crowd of dozens marched onto the Columbia University campus, delivering a petition for Columbia President Minouche Shafik to order all Hadden's patients be notified that their former doctor has been convicted of sex abuse.
Hadden was sentenced to 20 years in prison when his trial concluded this summer.
While Hadden's crimes were committed over the course of decades, timing is of the essence now because of the Adult Survivors Act, allowing victims of sex abuse to have their day in civil court regardless of how long ago the alleged abuse took place.
But that window closes in four weeks and with that deadline approaching fast - survivors accuse the Columbia University president of running out the clock to avoid lawsuits.