By Laura Ly and Lauren del Valle, CNN
A former Columbia University gynecologist accused by the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and others of sexual assault has been convicted of federal sexual abuse charges, prosecutors say.
Robert Hadden, 64, was convicted of four counts of enticing and inducing individuals to travel interstate to engage in illegal sexual activity, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said in a release.
The allegations against Hadden first became widely publicized after an exclusive interview by CNN’s Dana Bash with Evelyn Yang and a series of reports by CNN’s investigative unit. In the wake of that reporting, scores of women came forward saying they too had been assaulted by Hadden.
US Attorney Damian Williams called Hadden a “predator in a white coat.”
“For years, he cruelly lured women who sought professional medical care to his offices in order to gratify himself,” Williams said in a statement. “Hadden’s victims trusted him as a physician, only to instead become victims of his heinous predilection.”
Williams thanked all the “brave women who came forward to tell their stories, many of whom testified at trial, to end his years-long cycle of abuse.”
Federal Judge Richard Berman denied prosecutors’ request to keep Hadden in custody pending his sentencing, which is scheduled for April 25. Berman also declined to keep Hadden in custody until his bail hearing, scheduled for February 1 at noon.
Several of Hadden’s victims gave emotional statements about his abuse at a remand hearing held immediately following his conviction Tuesday, and asked Berman to remand Hadden into custody immediately.
Prosecutors told the judge they’re concerned Hadden will harm himself or flee the jurisdiction if he’s not detained ahead of his scheduled court appearances.
The judge said that he found it “inconceivable” that someone with “compulsions” like Hadden wouldn’t continue to be a danger to the community, but still denied the motion to remand the registered sex offender until the parties file additional briefs on the matter.
Hadden was previously charged with six federal abuse counts, but earlier this month, prosecutors filed a “streamlined” indictment charging him with four counts of enticing and inducing individuals to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity, according to Nicholas Biase, spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
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