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Judge Suggests 20 Years for Doctor Who Abused Women, but Delays Sentence

A former Manhattan gynecologist convicted of inducing patients to cross state lines for examinations during which he sexually assaulted them is to be sentenced Tuesday after a hearing was delayed so a judge could evaluate a raft of objections from his lawyers.

Before adjourning, the judge, Richard M. Berman, proposed a sentence of 20 years, the maximum, for Robert A. Hadden, who has not worked as a doctor since 2012.

“This case is like no other in my experience,” Judge Berman said, adding that Mr. Hadden’s actions were “lewd, serious, unchecked, out of control.”

However, Judge Berman said Monday afternoon that he would take the evening to carefully review and respond to objections raised by the defense team before officially sentencing Mr. Hadden.

Mr. Hadden, 64, was convicted in January on federal charges that stemmed from assaults against four patients who traveled from and through New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania for gynecological and obstetrics appointments.

On Monday, Mr. Hadden — wearing the brown undershirt and tan scrubs of a federal detention center — blew a kiss to his wife, son and other supporters seated in the front row as he walked into the courtroom. He fidgeted throughout the nearly five hour hearing as the judge meticulously went over the trial’s transcripts — dissecting witness testimony and an evaluation of Mr. Hadden’s mental health history.

Dozens of victims, their relatives and supporters packed the seats, anxiously awaiting the judge’s official sentencing.

The hearing in the Southern District of New York was the latest chapter in the decades-long saga. Prosecutors have said that Mr. Hadden abused dozens of his patients during medical exams starting in the early 1990s.

Mr. Hadden was first arrested in 2012 when a patient called the police after an exam and said he touched her sexually. But about seven years ago, the Manhattan district attorney’s office, then under Cyrus R. Vance Jr., struck a plea deal with Mr. Hadden, who had been accused of sexually abusing 19 patients. The deal allowed him to avoid prison time.

Mr. Hadden instead gave up his medical license and pleaded guilty to a single felony count of a criminal sexual act in the third degree, and one misdemeanor count of forcible touching.

The decision brought scrutiny for former prosecutors amid a nationwide reckoning with cases of sexual assault and the legal system’s handling of them.

In 2019, about one month after Evelyn Yang, the wife of the former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, told CNN in an interview that she was one of Mr. Hadden’s victims, the Manhattan district attorney’s office declared it had opened an investigation into new abuse allegations against him.

After an investigation, the office determined that any possible criminal charges were past the statue of limitation, according to a spokeswoman with the Manhattan district attorney’s office on Monday.

Federal charges were announced against Mr. Hadden in September 2020.

At a hearing last month, several women spoke about how the assaults had affected them in the decades since.

“The system has taken over a decade to bring justice to this horrible crime,” said Laurie Kanyok, whose report to the police in 2012 led to Mr. Hadden’s arrest.

“I have spoken one too many times in court, and implore you to make this the last time,” she told Judge Berman.

Mr. Hadden’s former employers, Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, have also been sued by victims in recent years. The hospitals have reached at least two separate settlements with 226 former patients for a total of about $236 million.

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