A University of Southern California campus gynecologist accused of preying on patients for nearly three decades was found dead at his Los Angeles home on Wednesday, according to his attorney.
George Tyndall was awaiting trial on 35 criminal counts of sexual assault—a fraction of the more than 17,000 potential victims cited in a series of lawsuits that resulted in settlements exceeding $1 billion. Tyndall was the only full-time gynecologist at USC’s student health clinic from 1989 to 2016, according to the Los Angeles Times, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2019 for its investigation into Tyndall. He treated some 20,000 people during his first 10 years at the university, USC said in a civil court filing.
USC grad Daniella Mohazab, a patient who claimed Tyndall assaulted her in 2016, said reports of the 76-year-old’s demise came as welcome news.
“I wish death on no one, but I do hope that without his presence on this Earth, I and many of his other survivors, can find peace in knowing that he is gone,” Mohazab said in a statement provided to The Daily Beast by lawyer Gloria Allred, whose firm is representing more than 70 Tyndall victims in civil proceedings.
Mohazab testified at a preliminary hearing in Tyndall’s criminal trial, and was prepared to take the stand again, according to Allred.
“The news of his death is a shock to many of his victims,” Allred said in her own statement. “Previously, they were happy that he would have to face justice at his trial. If he was convicted of the numerous felonies for which he was charged, many victims wanted to provide a victim impact statement so that Dr. Tyndall would understand the harm that they suffered as a result of his crimes against them when they were his patients and he was their OB/GYN at U.S.C.”
A “close female friend” became concerned on Wednesday after Tyndall failed to pick up the phone, defense lawyer Leonard Levine, who was representing Tyndall in his criminal case, told the L.A. Times. The friend eventually managed to get into Tyndall’s condo and found him in bed, unresponsive, according to Levine.
“From the very beginning, Dr. Tyndall had adamantly denied every one of the charges against him,” Levine said. “All he ever wanted was his day in court, which he was confident would end in his complete exoneration. Now, neither he nor his accusers will get that, and that is very unfortunate for everyone involved.”
Levine said he notified the court of Tyndall’s death and that he will submit his client’s death certificate at the next scheduled hearing in the criminal case.
There was “no evidence of foul play or suicide,” Levine told the Associated Press.
The ghastly allegations against Tyndall first emerged in a 2018 L.A. Times article, which said USC knew for years about the doctor’s misconduct but had never reported it to patients or to the state medical board.
The complaints stretched back to the 1990s; concerned colleagues later sensed that Tyndall had begun setting his sights on USC’s increasing number of students from China, who, according to the Times, “often had a limited understanding of the English language and American medical norms.”
Tyndall was finally suspended until 2016, when a USC nurse reported him to the campus rape crisis center. He was allowed to resign the following year, with a generous severance payout.
In response to the Times exposé, USC argued that it had not been under any obligation to report the accusations against Tyndall, but that it should have done so. The university finally lodged a complaint in March 2019 with the Medical Board of California, after Tyndall asked for his job back. He surrendered his medical license that September.
If he had been convicted at trial, Tyndall faced up to 64 years in prison.