Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ROBERT HADDEN was sentenced today to 20 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman for enticing and inducing four victims to travel interstate to engage in unlawful sexual activity. HADDEN, who practiced medicine between in or about 1987 to 2012, was convicted at trial on January 24, 2023, for inducing four victims to travel interstate to his medical offices in Manhattan so that he could sexually abuse them. The Government proved at trial that the defendant sexually abused dozens of patients over the course of more than two decades under the guise of purported medical examinations.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Under the guise of medical treatment, Robert Hadden sexually abused and assaulted numerous patients for approximately 25 years, exploiting them in vulnerable moments for his own sexual gratification. Thanks to the tireless work of the career prosecutors of this Office, Hadden will rightfully spend decades in federal prison. We thank and commend the victims who bravely came forward to share their stories and ensure that their abuser faces justice.”
According to the Indictment, evidence presented at trial, and other filings and statements made in court:
For approximately 25 years, between in or about 1987 and in or about 2012, ROBERT HADDEN sexually abused and assaulted at least dozens of female patients, some repeatedly, as an obstetrician/gynecologist employed by Columbia University Medical Center and during purported medical examinations. HADDEN used his position as a medical doctor employed by a prestigious medical institution to make or to attempt to make his victims believe that the sexual abuse he inflicted on them was appropriate and medically necessary. HADDEN encouraged victims to return to see him and directed victims to schedule follow-up visits on timelines he set. As a result, some of the victims attended many appointments with HADDEN over the course of several years, during which HADDEN sexually abused them. HADDEN caused four victims to return to Manhattan for appointments with him so that he could sexually abuse them, knowing that these victims would have to travel across state lines for their appointment.
HADDEN used sophisticated techniques to carry out his abuse, which he honed over the course of more than two decades. He exploited the power differential inherent in the doctor-patient relationship, he built rapport with victims, he asked victims invasive and unprompted questions about their sexual activity, including about sex positions and if they were able to achieve orgasm, and he provided unsolicited advice on these topics. He also used so-called breast and vaginal exams to hide his abuse, he isolated patients, and he conducted fake examinations.
HADDEN sexually abused victims in various ways, including by massaging and groping victims’ breasts for a prolonged period; groping both breasts at the same time; pinching, twisting, or otherwise manipulating a victim’s nipples; extracting colostrum from a victim’s breasts and tasting it; digitally penetrating and/or rubbing victims’ vaginas in efforts to masturbate them; touching victims’ clitorises; and licking victims’ vaginas. Each of these abusive acts was committed by HADDEN without any valid medical purpose and under the guise of legitimate medical care.
At the sentencing, Judge Berman imposed the statutory maximum penalty for each count of conviction, to run concurrently. The Court described the defendant’s conduct as “exceptional and unprecedented,” “shocking in the extreme,” “horrific,” and “depraved.” In imposing its sentence, the Court discussed, among other things, the magnitude and scope of the defendant’s serial sexual abuse, its unchecked nature, the defendant’s “skillfulness at deception,” the predatory nature of his sex crimes, and the fact that the defendant preyed on vulnerable patients who trusted him, thereby repeatedly violating a “woman’s right to decide what happens to her body.”
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In addition to the prison term, HADDEN, 64, of Englewood, New Jersey, was sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and a $400 special assessment fee.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lara Pomerantz, Jane Kim, and Paul Monteleoni are in charge of the prosecution, with the assistance of Paralegal Specialist Connor Hamill.