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NY doctor charged in serial sexual assaults on patients

MT. PLEASANT, IA - JANUARY 24: Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and wife, Evelyn, carry their sons to the campaign bus following a rally at Iowa Wesleyan University on January 24, 2020 in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Yang continues his 17 day bus tour through Iowa today with five town halls along the southeastern state line. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — A former New York gynecologist accused of sexually abusing more than two dozen patients, including the wife of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, now faces federal charges.

The doctor, Robert A. Hadden, who had avoided prison time but surrendered his medical license in an earlier plea deal with state prosecutors, now faces six counts of inducing others to travel to engage in illegal sex acts in a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday.

Hadden, 62, was arrested Wednesday morning in New Jersey, authorities said. He has a home in Englewood, which is located about 10 miles outside Manhattan.

A message seeking comment was left Wednesday with an attorney who has represented Hadden in the past.

Hadden has faced a growing chorus of accusers in recent years, including some like Evelyn Yang, the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who earlier this year told CNN that Hadden assaulted her in 2012, including when she was seven months pregnant.

The sexual abuse allegations against Hadden date until as early as 1993. A lawsuit brought by more than two dozen of accusers says he groped and penetrated patients during vaginal examinations and “mole checks” that served “no medical purpose.”

Hadden also made sexually inappropriate remarks and surreptitiously perform oral sex on patients, the lawsuit says, “to satisfy his own prurient and deviant sexual desires.”

Hadden reached a plea agreement in 2016 with prosecutors in the office of Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, who reopened an investigation into the doctor amid criticism over his handling of a case that included five counts of committing a criminal sexual act.

Evelyn Yang, in the CNN interview, called Hadden’s punishment a “slap on the wrist.”

“What happened to me should have never happened,” she said.

Marissa Hoechstetter, another Hadden accuser, has said Vance’s office misled her about the statute of limitations in Hadden’s case and was already negotiating the plea deal when she was still talking to prosecutors about testifying at a potential trial.

Hoechstetter said she initially felt relief sitting in court watching Hadden plead guilty, but realized after reading the agreement that prosecutors agreed not to charge him with any other crimes they were aware of — including the ones she said he committed against her.

“I just realized how badly I have been treated and taken advantage of,” Hoechstetter said.

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