Evelyn Yang says Columbia University and New York DA 'grossly mishandled' case of OB-GYN she accuses of sexual assault

Posted Friday, 21 February 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Evelyn Yang, whose appearance on CNN last month to share her story of alleged sex assault at the hands of a former Columbia University gynecologist spurred a cascade of new accusers against the same doctor, applauded the Manhattan District Attorney's announcement that it plans to investigate the new claims, but said the DA and university must be held to account as well. Yang, wife of former Democratic presidential candidate and CNN contributor Andrew Yang, told CNN on Friday that the announcement to investigate the new claims against Robert Hadden "doesn't erase how they grossly mishandled all the initial cases, including mine." "While this is a good start, it's not addressing the root of the problem," Yang said. "We need to be asking why there are over 70 women and counting who have now come forward about being assaulted by this same doctor. The DA's office should be investigating the hospital for allowing this doctor to prey on so many patients over decades, when they had indication from multiple sources that he was acting inappropriately."Marissa Hoechstetter, another alleged victim of Hadden's, has repeatedly called on Vance to resign. She was unmoved by the DA's announcement, referring to it as "image rehab ahead of the (Harvey) Weinstein verdict." "Vance and his office simply do not have the public trust or credibility to conduct an investigation, and we call on Governor (Andrew) Cuomo and Attorney General (Letitia) James to immediately appoint a special prosecutor in his place," she said Friday in a statement. "The District Attorney has had eight years to serve justice in the Hadden case, but only now seems interested because of continued national scrutiny and a contested DA race," Hoechstetter added. Hadden, formerly a doctor in Columbia University's hospital system, was facing nine charges relating to sexual abuse allegations when he cut a deal with prosecutors in Vance's office in 2016. He pleaded guilty to two counts: criminal sexual act in the third degree and forcible touching. Under the terms of the plea deal, he surrendered his medical license and served no prison time. Nearly a week after CNN reported that the new allegations against Hadden were mounting, Vance's office released a statement Thursday evening announcing its decision to start a new probe. "We admire the courage of the survivors who have recently shared their stories. Their voices will be heard and the abuse they suffered will be thoroughly investigated," the DA's office said.The 61-year-old Hadden has denied the assault allegations in the civil case, aside from the two counts to which he pleaded guilty. CNN reached out to Hadden and his criminal attorney, Isabelle A. Kirshner. She responded saying she no longer represents him.Some accusers have lambasted Vance for the plea deal with Hadden, saying it fits a pattern of lenience towards white men of power and privilege on the part of the DA, who also handled cases against Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein. "This is great news. Unfortunately also a pattern by DA Vance: give unduly soft treatment to powerful offenders, get called out by the media for failing to do justice, then double back and try fix it later," CNN Legal Analyst Elie Honig, a former federal and state prosecutor, tweeted Friday.Since Yang's interview, some 40 new Hadden accusers have brought their allegations to attorney Anthony DiPietro, who first filed a civil suit against Hadden and Columbia University in 2013. DiPietro says he plans to file a new suit on behalf of the new accusers, which would bring the total number of plaintiffs to about 70. Two of the plaintiffs were minors -- ages 15 and 16 -- at the time of the alleged abuse, he said. Responding to news of the DA's announcement, Columbia issued a statement saying, "Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our patients. We condemn sexual misconduct in any form and will cooperate fully with any request for information from the District Attorney's office related to Robert Hadden." Columbia has denied in legal filings the allegations that the university did nothing to stop the "serial sexual abuse" on "countless occasions." CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report.

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Rwanda has introduced robots as part of its fight against coronavirus.With 314 confirmed cases of the virus as of May 22, the East African country has enlisted the help of five anti-epidemic robots to battle the virus. The robots were donated by the ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)It was a mouth-watering prospect for sports-starved fans everywhere. Four of the greatest athletes the world has ever known, on the golf course at the same time, offering us a glimpse of who they are when they aren't winning Major Championships and...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A Texas community hit by terrible tragedy months ago came together over the weekend to celebrate a survivor's first birthday.Paul Gilbert Anchondo was two months old when his parents died shielding him from a shooter at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Several members of the graduating class at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia, have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a letter from the school."The school has been notified by several Class of 2020 families that their students have...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Just when you thought you'd learned how to spell Grimes and Elon Musk's unusual baby name, they've gone and changed it.Earlier this month, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk announced the birth of the baby boy in a post on Twitter, revealing his son was...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

In this weekly column "Cross Exam," Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst and former federal and state prosecutor, gives his take on the latest legal news. Post your questions below. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN. ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Rome (CNN)"The doctors were shocked. They said they had never seen anything like this," says Valentina Vigilante, recalling the terrifying day her 6-year-old son Nicolò was rushed into intensive care in Bergamo, northern Italy, as he struggled to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late Kobe Bryant, shared a sweet moment this Memorial Day weekend -- a film of their baby daughter's first steps. In a video posted to Instagram, 11-month-old Capri stumbles across the room for the first time, into the...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)With two barren peaks that rise only about 170 feet above sea level, the now extinct Pūhāhonu volcano in the Northwestern Hawaii Islands doesn't look like much. This is especially true since in the same archipelago, Mauna Loa towers over every...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Photos and video of Memorial Day weekend celebrations across the US showed plenty of people going to the beach and gathering on boardwalks, but not a lot of people social distancing or wearing masks. From Florida to Indiana and across the country to ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Hong Kong (CNN Business)An online grocery business backed by Asia's richest man is expanding to hundreds of cities across India — a move widely seen as a challenge to Amazon (AMZN) and FlipKart.JioMart, the grocery platform owned by Mukesh Ambani's Jio ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(Kaiser Health News)As states relax coronavirus restrictions, older adults are advised, in most cases, to keep sheltering in place. But for some, the burden of isolation and uncertainty is becoming hard to bear.This "stay at home awhile longer" advice...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)As warm weather sends people outdoors, some are encountering tenacious pests with no respect for social distance. Forget staying 6 feet apart: Ticks go for blood in the hardest-to-reach places on the human body. Many of those ticks are infected with ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At a glance, it may look like many Americans have long forgotten about the dangers of coronavirus.Crowds packed beaches in Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and Indiana over the weekend -- many venturing out without masks and others failing to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At first glance, Shelley Allwang's cubicle looks just like any other office space.But alongside a pinboard full of tchotchkes and a photo of her dog, sits a story that reminds Allwang of the importance of her job, now more than ever. "The Boy and...