A New York doctor who treated former presidential candidate Andrew Yang's wife is charged with sexually assaulting patients for 2 decades under the guise of medical exams

Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a news conference to announce the unsealing of an indictment against Robert Hadden, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, in New York. Hadden, a former New York gynecologist, is accused of sexually abusing more than two dozen patients, including the wife of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang. He was charged with six counts of inducing others to travel to engage in illegal sex acts. ()

John Minchillo/AP Photo

A former New York gynecologist was charged with sexually abusing women and girls including former presidential candidate Andrew Yang's wife on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. 

Robert Hadden faces six federal counts of enticing and inducing individuals to travel interstate to engage in illegal sexual activity. 

The alleged abuse reportedly took place between 1993 and 2012 while Hadden worked at Columbia University and at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

The indictment says there are dozens of victims, but the charges against Hadden involve five women and one minor. 

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A former gynecologist was charged in New York on Wednesday with sexually abusing women and girls, including former presidential candidate Andrew Yang's wife, the Associated Press reported. 

Robert Hadden was indicted in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on six federal counts of "enticing and inducing individuals to travel interstate to engage in illegal sexual activity," a press release from the US Justice Department said. 

Each of the counts carries maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison. 

Acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss said Hadden "inappropriately touched, squeezed, and even licked his victims." One of his victims was a minor he helped deliver as a baby. 

"He used the cover of conducting medical examinations to engage in sexual abuse that he passed off as normal and medically necessary," Strauss said. "His conduct was neither normal nor medically necessary."

Prosecutors said Hadden abused dozens of women and girls between 1993 and 2012 while he worked at Columbia University and at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the charges involved five adults and a minor. 

Strauss called Hadden "a predator in a white coat" in the DOJ's press release. 

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Hadden surrendered his medical license in 2016 as part of a plea deal with the Manhattan district attorney. In 2014, that office brought a case against Hadden on accusations of criminal sex acts. The plea deal meant Hadden avoided jail time but "pleaded guilty to a single felony count of criminal sexual act in the third degree, and one misdemeanor count of forcible touching," The New York Times reported at the time.

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Evelyn Yang, the wife of Andrew Yang, testified as part of the 2014 case against Hadden, but according to NPR its unclear if she is one of the six alleged victims in the new indictment. 

Yang told CNN in January that Hadden sexually abused her in 2012 when he was her gynecologist and she was pregnant. 

"It started with inappropriate questions ... that were unrelated to my health," Evelyn Yang told CNN. She said the doctor examined her more frequently than was medically necessary. "I feel like I put up with some inappropriate behavior that I didn't know at the time was straight-up sexual abuse/sexual assault."

Yang said Hadden had examined her internally without a glove on when she was seven months pregnant.

"At that moment I knew it was wrong, I knew I was being assaulted," she said. 

Yang called Hadden's plea deal with the Manhattan DA a "slap on the wrist," the AP reported. 

The federal indictment "only puts into high relief the betrayal I and his other victims experienced by the Manhattan DA," Marissa Hoechstetter, another Hadden accuser told the AP. 

"I hope that through the course of this, the world will finally see the full extent of Hadden's decades of sexual abuse and the institutional cowardice that protected and enabled him for so long. He and his enablers must be held accountable if we are to make change in a system that harms those it is meant to protect," she told the AP. 

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