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USC Sued for Failing Student Victims of Abuse by Gynecologist

The Engemann Student Health Center on the USC campus in Los Angeles on May 17.

Photographer: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The University of Southern California was sued for failing to protect female students who were sexually abused by a gynecologist at its student health center.

A former student filed a complaint Monday in federal court in Los Angeles accusing the university of gender violence and gross negligence. The gynecologist was allowed to examine students even though USC had received complaints, including from nurses, about him for years, according to the suit.

The headline-grabbing allegations against the gynecologist include inappropriate inspections of a patient’s entire naked body, unseemly comments about the patients’ body and racially discriminatory remarks, unnecessary follow-up examinations for birth control prescriptions, and using his fingers for pelvic examinations.

USC issued a report last week in which it admitted that complaints dating back to 2000 were sufficient to terminate the gynecologist. The doctor worked at the university since 1989 and examined as many as 16 women a day, according to the complaint.

The former student seeks to represent the hundreds, if not thousands, of other women who were examined by the gynecologist at USC.

The university said in a statement that it was aware of the lawsuit.

“We are focused on ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and providing support to those affected.”

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