Traveling to a foreign country for school is the opportunity and adventure of a lifetime. It should be a time filled with educational and cultural enrichment. Unfortunately, for some women who were blessed with the opportunity to obtain an outstanding education at the University of Southern California (USC), the adventure of a lifetime turned into a nightmare filled with sexual abuse and exploitation at the hands of Dr. George Tyndall. Dr. Tyndall was once a respected gynecologist at USC, but he is now under criminal investigation for sexually abusing his patients.
Predators come in all shapes and sizes. Most are masterful at disguising their abuse and “grooming” their victims and their friends and family members so that the predator is trusted. At Michigan State University (MSU), Larry Nassar groomed gymnasts, athletes, patients, and their family members to gain their trust. Once that trust was gained, he exploited it for his own sexual perversions. At USC, Dr. Tyndall targeted Asian and other foreign students who were just getting their first taste of American health care.
One of the survivors that we have spoken with said, “In my country, doctors did not use gloves that often, so it didn’t occur to me that something could be wrong if he [Tyndall] did not.” One of the lawsuits alleges that these women were raised to respect their elders and authority figures, especially physicians. Cultural stigma surrounding sexual abuse and molestation is still prevalent in many parts of the word, so victims are reluctant to speak up for fear of bringing shame on their families.
Dr. Tyndall made other survivors uncomfortable with the way that he talked about Asian women. There have been numerous allegations that Tyndall made comments to sexualize Asian women and would also talk about his wife, who is Filipina. Dr. Tyndall made several inappropriate comments that ranged from innuendos to explicit sexual comments. Alexandra Nguyen, 23, said that he made her very uncomfortable during her appointment and that he made comments about Asian women being beautiful, telling her she could be a model. During an appointment with one survivor, a Filipina woman, Dr. Tyndall told her that, “Filipinas are good in bed.”
The LAPD is conducting a criminal investigation into whether or not Dr. Tyndall targeted Asian women. Investigators are looking into whether they were a target due to the possible language barrier, fear of being disowned by their family, or their unfamiliarity with American medical practices.
This tragedy at USC has many parallels to the case against Larry Nassar and Michigan State University (MSU). For one, both of these tragedies were entirely preventable. In both cases, brave women come forward to inform university officials that an on-staff physician was thought to be performing inappropriate and invasive procedures on women. Proper investigations were not performed, survivors were not believed or listened to, and the physicians were allowed to continue abusing countless women over multiple decades. Even one more survivor having to say “#MeToo,” is one too many. Over 300 women said “Time’s up” to Larry Nassar. The number of women coming forward against Dr. Tyndall is sadly growing daily.
The sexual abuse attorneys at Grewal Law / Church Wyble, P.C. have been fighting for the rights of victims for decades, and they have made it their mission to stop institutional involvement in sexual assault. The attorneys at Grewal Law / Church Wyble, P.C. are currently representing over 100 Survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse and assault, and they understand what it takes to prevail against large universities and corporations. Please contact the firm’s experienced attorneys for information regarding sexual assault support groups, or for a free consultation to discuss your rights. All inquiries with our office are kept in the strictest confidence and are completely confidential.
An associate attorney with Grewal Law PLLC in Okemos, Michigan, John Fraser focuses on general litigation, criminal defense, cannabis law, and appellate law. John is also an adjunct professor of law at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School where he teaches a course on Medical Marijuana and the Law.