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Ex-Columbia University gynecologist sentenced to 20 years in prison on federal sex abuse charges

<i>Alec Tabak/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service/Getty Images</i><br/>Robert Hadden
Alec Tabak/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service/Getty Images
Robert Hadden

By Lauren del Valle, CNN

(CNN) — A former Columbia University gynecologist accused by the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and others of sexual assault was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison after his conviction earlier this year on federal sexual abuse charges.

Robert Hadden, 64, was convicted in January of four counts of enticing and inducing individuals to travel interstate to engage in illegal sexual activity – each of which carried a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York previously said.

On Tuesday, Judge Richard Berman sentenced Hadden to 20 years to be served concurrently for each of the four counts. The judge also imposed a $10,000 fine and lifetime supervised release after Hadden serves out his sentence.

“I just want to say I am very sorry for all the pain I have caused,” Hadden said before the sentence was handed down in federal court in Manhattan, breaking into a sob. Hadden asked that his brevity not be mistaken for a lack of sincerity, noting his attorney had advised him to speak briefly in light of future efforts to appeal his case.

Hadden then sat down at the defense table, holding his head in his hands. He removed his glasses to wipe his eyes.

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, dozens 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 yearslong cycle of abuse.”

Several of Hadden’s victims gave emotional statements about his abuse immediately after his conviction.

Hadden was initially charged with six federal abuse counts.

But prosecutors later 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.

Hadden previously faced state charges brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, but secured a controversial plea deal in 2016 that saw him surrender his medical license and plead guilty to a criminal sex act in the third degree and forcible touching. He avoided prison time as a result of the deal.

Hadden has not practiced as a doctor since August 2012, according to Columbia University.

The-CNN-Wire
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CNN’s Laura Ly contributed to this report.

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