The latest episode of ‘Exposed Podcast’ chronicles the sexual crimes conducted by a convicted sexual offender, Dr. Robert Hadden, to over a dozen victims for around two decades in New York. An OB-GYN, he was accused of touching his female victims non-consensually and inappropriately during his scheduled appointments with them. Though he managed to evade an arrest over decades, a national furor started by his multiple victims led to federal charges in 2019. If you’re curious to learn more about the case, we’ve you covered. Let’s begin then, shall we?
Who Is Dr. Robert Hadden?
Dr. Robert A. Hadden, of Englewood, New Jersey, sexually abused dozens of female patients, including multiple minors, over a decade — from at least 1993 through at least 2012. He had practiced at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital before losing his medical license. He conducted this abuse under the guise of conducting purported gynecological and obstetric examinations. He enticed numerous victims across different states to travel to his New York medical offices to subject them to unlawful sexual abuse.
The convicted OB-GYN encouraged his victims to book repeat appointments and often directed them to schedule follow-up visits on timelines he set. As a result, some of his victims attended several meetings with Robert over multiple years, during which he repeatedly abused them. Court records mention that several of his victims had to travel to his Manhattan offices from or through other states. He nurtured a relationship with his victims and manipulated them to trust him before engaging in increasingly abusive conduct.
Under the guise of legitimate medical care, Robert frequently created opportunities to be alone with his victims. He invited them to meet with him alone in his office, sent nurses and medical assistants out of the examination room for elongated periods, or intentionally failed to inform them about his scheduled appointments. After materializing or attempting to develop a rapport with his victims, he began to engage in physical and sexual abuse of his victims. He also frequently brought up inappropriate and medically irrelevant sexual topics.
News reports mention that Robert was first arrested in 2012 when one of his patients, Laurie Kanyok, contacted the authorities on June 29, 2012, and alleged he had touched her sexually without consent. He was eventually accused of sexually abusing 19 patients but avoided jail time when the erstwhile district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., agreed to a plea deal in 2016. Robert surrendered 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 DA’s office then bypassed a state panel’s recommendation by seeking the lowest sex offender status for the doctor, which a judge granted. The decision created a nationwide furor, with Marissa Hoechstetter, one of his alleged victims, claiming, “It is not a one-off. There’s a pattern of behavior.” Since Robert’s criminal case was resolved, Marissa and 25 other women joined a lawsuit in state court against him, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and its affiliated hospitals in 2019. Cyrus later reversed his stance, blaming it on his assistant.
The case grabbed national headlines in 2019 whenDr. Hadden was a serial sexual predator who used access and power to take advantage of women in their most vulnerable states. We support all of his survivors and applaud their strength and courage.”
Where Is Dr. Robert Hadden Now?
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office declared it had opened an investigation into new abuse allegations against him the following month. An official spokeswoman later informed that the office had determined that any possible criminal charges at the state level were past the statute of limitations after a detailed investigation. On September 9, 2020, federal charges were brought against Robert, with court documents stating he had coerced six victims, including a minor, to travel to New York from or through another state for illegal sexual activities.
Acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss stated, “The allegations show that Hadden acted as a predator in a white coat. He allegedly used the cover of conducting medical examinations to engage in sexual abuse that he passed off as normal and medically necessary when it was neither normal nor necessary – it was criminal.” FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. also asked other possible victims to step up and added, “We see time and time again that voices matter, and those who have stepped forward have empowered others to do the same.”
Robert was convicted on four counts of enticing his former patients into the state to engage in illegal sexual activity on January 24, 2023. During the June 2023 sentence hearing, Laurie Kanyok stood in federal court and alleged, “The system has taken over a decade to bring justice to this horrible crime. I have spoken one too many times in court and implore you to make this the last time. Every time I have appeared in court, Robert Hadden has continued to manage to live a life at home.” He was sentenced to four concurrent 20-year terms in July 2023.
During his July 25, 2023, sentencing, Robert made seven brief statements and apologized for his actions. With a voice choked with emotion, he added, “Don’t take my brevity as a lack of sensitivity. I’m very sorry for all of the pain I’ve caused.” An assistant US attorney, Jane Kim, noted over 70 victims testified in court or writing throughout the legal proceedings. She added, “Today is about the victims in this case. This has been a long and painful path for them.”
Touting the sentence as “an important milestone,” Marissa Hoechstetter said, “It does not change anything about what happened. What Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian let happen to us.” Robert’s previous employers — Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital — announced two separate settlements for a total of about $236 million with his 226 former patients. The 65-year-old is incarcerated at FDC Philadelphia and will be released in 2040. His incarceration would be followed by a lifetime of supervised release.