George Tyndall, former USC gynecologist accused of sexual abuse, found dead at home

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Thursday, October 5, 2023
George Tyndall, ex-USC gynecologist accused of sexual abuse, dies
George Tyndall, the former USC campus gynecologist accused of sexually abusing hundreds of women, was found dead at his home in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dr. George Tyndall, the former USC campus gynecologist accused of sexually abusing hundreds of women, was found dead Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles, his attorney told ABC News. He was 76.

Tyndall was found deceased in bed by a close family friend who went to his home after being unable to reach him, according to attorney Leonard Levine. It was the friend's opinion that Tyndall had been dead for quite a while, Levine said Thursday.

An autopsy is expected to be conducted, but Levine and the friend believe Tyndall died of natural causes.

In March of 2021, USC agreed to an $852 million settlement with more than 700 women who accused Tyndall of sexual misconduct.

Editor's note: This story includes discussion of sexual assault. If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-4673.

When combined with an earlier settlement of a separate class-action suit, USC agreed to pay out more than $1 billion for claims against the longtime campus doctor, who worked at the school for nearly three decades.

At the time of his death, Tyndall was facing criminal charges of alleged sexual misconduct between 2009 and 2016 at the university's student health center. He had pleaded not guilty and was free on bond.

Hundreds of women came forward to report their allegations to police but some of the cases fell outside the 10-year statute of limitations, while others did not rise to the level of criminal charges or lacked sufficient evidence to prosecute. Still, he had faced up to 64 years in prison if convicted.

Tyndall was deposed for the settlement and largely invoked his rights against self-incrimination in answers, the plaintiff's lawyers said in 2021. While he signed the settlement, he did not contribute any money toward it and did not admit to any wrongdoing.

Two young women gave graphic testimony about examinations by USC's former longtime campus gynecologist as a hearing began to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial on sex-related charges involving 21 former patients.

"Dr. Tyndall continues to deny that he has engaged in any misconduct," said Leonard Levine, Tyndall's attorney, said at the time. "He has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges and remains confident that when the allegations are tested in court in a jury trial, he will be totally exonerated."

Nicole Haynes says Tyndall sexually assaulted her years ago in his USC campus office during a visit related to food poisoning that she was suffering from.

"Me or none of the survivors, the thousands of us out there, will ever get the opportunity to face him in court and just tell him exactly what he did to us and how that impacted our lives," Haynes said. "It was just really disappointing."

Tyndall was supposed to stand trial next year and many of his victims were planning to testify.

"This had a lifetime of impact on thousands of women. It never should have happened," said Mike Arias, an attorney for the victims. "I think they were looking forward to seeing him rot in hell. I think he got off easy."

Levine said he's almost certain his client died of natural causes.

"Dr. Tyndall has adamantly denied every one of the charges against him," Levine said in a statement. "All he ever wanted was his day in court, which he was confident would end in his complete exoneration. Now, neither he nor his accusers will have their day in court, and that is indeed unfortunate."

Separately, USC earlier agreed to pay $215 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that applied to about 18,000 women who were patients of Tyndall's. The individual payouts to those victims ranged from $2,500 to $250,000, and were given regardless of whether the women formally accused Tyndall of harassment or assault.

Allegations against Tyndall first surfaced in 2018 in an investigation by the Los Angeles Times, which revealed that the doctor had been the subject of complaints of sexual misconduct at USC dating back to the 1990s.

He wasn't suspended until 2016, when a nurse reported him to a rape crisis center. He was able to quietly resign with a large payout the next year.

Tyndall surrendered his medical license in September 2019, records show.

"Sadly, our system oftentimes moves at a slow pace, especially when the courts were forced to grind to a halt during an unprecedented global pandemic," the district attorney's office said in a statement. "None of this will change the incredible harm that the victims have suffered. Our thoughts go out to them during this difficult time."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.