TO gynecologist who sexually abused Dozens of vulnerable and unsuspecting patients for more than two decades at prestigious New York hospitals wept before a federal judge sentenced him Tuesday to 20 years in prison, calling his crimes shocking and unprecedented.
The sentence for Robert Hadden, 64, came nearly a month after hearing Nine victims describe how the doctor abused them during gynecological treatments from the late 1980s to 2012 at prominent hospitals, including Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Given his chance to speak Tuesday, Hadden stood with his hands folded in front of him to say there were «a lot of things I’d like to say» but that his lawyers had advised him to keep his statement brief.
“I’m so sorry for all the pain I’ve caused,” Hadden said through a tearful sob before hanging her head as she sat back down. Then he took off his glasses and wiped the tears from his eyes.
In remarks over the past two days, US District Judge Richard M. Berman said the case was unlike any he had ever seen before and involved «outrageous, horrifying, beyond extraordinary and depraved sexual abuse.» He noted that the government has reported that at least 245 women among the thousands he treated have claimed Hadden abused them.
Testimony at a January trial from four women who said they crossed state lines to be treated by Hadden, and five other women who described abuse by him, was «extremely shocking,» the judge said. Hadden was found guilty of four counts of enticing victims to cross state lines so he could sexually abuse them.
Berman also accused Hadden of misleading psychologists to hide voyeuristic tendencies and deviant sexual characteristics that led him to abuse his patients. The judge said he still considers Hadden a «clear danger to others, especially women.»
Nine victims spoke at the first stage of the sentencing hearing late last month. Numerous victims attended the proceedings on Monday and Tuesday, but were not invited to speak again.
“Robert Hadden is a sexual predator in a white coat,” a woman, speaking under the pseudonym Emily Anderson, told Berman last month.
According to trial testimony, Hadden benefited from the prestige of the hospitals where he worked while caring for his patients in a private office decorated with photographs of his children while conversing with them about his personal life.
But once he isolated them after a chaperone or nurse left the treatment room, he stroked and probed them with bare-gloved fingers and sometimes orally.
The judge noted that many patients were particularly vulnerable because they were pregnant, had physical problems, or had never been to another gynecologist, and he was confident that Hadden was behaving appropriately for medical reasons.
Hadden’s lawyer, Deirdre von Dornum, asked the judge Tuesday to give her client credit for his efforts to reform himself and his devotion to his family.
A day earlier, when the judge announced he planned to impose a 20-year sentence, she complained that Berman quadrupled the roughly five-year term suggested by federal sentencing guidelines.
“Here you have someone who has already lost everything, and you are effectively giving him a life sentence,” he said.
The attorney said her client was enduring harsh prison conditions in a federal lockup in Brooklyn, where inmates threaten him and extort money from his commissary.
The prosecutors had asked a prison sentence of at least 25 years, while defense lawyers urged a sentence of three years.
Prosecutors say Hadden’s abuse of women began shortly after he began working in 1987 at Columbia-Presbyterian in New York, which later became NewYork-Presbyterian. The institutions agreed to pay more than $236 million to resolve civil lawsuits by more than 200 former patients.
Assistant US Attorney Jane Kim said Tuesday that Hadden had yet to accept responsibility for his crimes.
She said that he «still has the same sexual disorders that he had while carrying out his career of sexual abuse.»
The victims include Evelyn Yang, whose husband, Andrew Yang, ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for president in 2020 and for New York City mayor in 2022. She said Hadden sexually assaulted her years ago when she was seven months pregnant. The Associated Press does not typically name victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly.
Hadden received no jail time after pleading guilty in state court in 2016 to charges involving a smaller number of women. She was then required to hand over her medical license.