Former Columbia University gynecologist Robert Hadden found guilty of sex trafficking


A former Manhattan gynecologist who previously evaded prison time for abusing patients was convicted on federal charges of sex trafficking Tuesday, officials said.

A federal jury in Manhattan found 64-year-old Robert Hadden guilty of sexual abuse after a two-week trial during which nine former patients shared how the doctor attacked them during their visits.

“Robert Hadden was a predator in a white coat,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in a statement. “For years, he cruelly lured women who sought professional medical care to his offices in order to gratify himself. Hadden’s victims trusted him as a physician, only to instead become victims of his heinous predilection.”

Hadden worked at both Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital until complaints about his abuse ended his career a decade ago. An indictment charged the doctor with sexually abusing patients between 1993 until at least 2012. During the trial, patients described how the gynecologist would question them about their personal lives and sexual experiences before touching them inappropriately.

While his defense lawyers contended that Hadden’s guilty plea to charges in state court seven years ago put those crimes behind him, prosecutors moved forward with federal charges after arguing that Hadden enticed women to cross state lines so he could attack them.

Marissa Hoechstetter was one of Hadden’s victims. In a statement, she said she hoped the verdict would bring “healing, better patient protections, a broader understanding of the impact of trauma, and finally, a measure of real accountability.”

“The delivery of justice in the case of the U.S. v Robert Hadden is because of the strong and clear voices of many women and the exceptional work of the SDNY AUSAs [assistant U.S. attorneys for the Southern District of New York] and FBI. Today’s verdict does not undo the harm that Hadden and his employers caused hundreds of women and girls over decades. But it does send a strong message that what happened was wrong and that survivors’ voices do matter.”

Evelyn Yang, whose husband Andrew Yang ran unsuccessfully for president in 2020 and New York City mayor in 2022, was also among Hadden’s former patients who have spoken out about his abuse.

“We thank and commend the brave women who came forward to tell their stories, many of whom testified at trial, to end his yearslong cycle of abuse,” Williams said.


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