Columbia University reaches $165 mln deal with victims abused by former doctor

Oct 7 (Reuters) - Columbia University and its affiliated hospitals said that a $165 million settlement was reached with nearly 150 patients of a former gynecologist, who was accused of sexual abuse by dozens of women.

Robert Hadden, the former gynecologist, pleaded guilty in 2016 to two New York state charges of a criminal sex act in the third degree and forcible touching. Hadden is now awaiting trial in federal court on eight criminal counts of bringing women across state lines for alleged sexual abuse from 1993 to 2012.

A $71.5 million settlement had been reached in December between the institution and a group of 79 women, who were Hadden's patients. On Friday, the university said in a statement that Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the NewYork-Presbyterian hospital reached an agreement with a remaining group of 147 patients for $165 million.

The university added that Hadden has not worked as a doctor since 2012.

The hospitals will establish a compensation fund to distribute the money, the university said.

"We deeply regret the pain that Robert Hadden’s patients suffered and hope that these resolutions will provide some measure of support for the women he hurt. All those who came forward should be commended," the university said.

A representative of Hadden could not immediately be reached for comment.

The sexual abuse settlement is the latest involving a prestigious U.S. academic institution.

In September, the University of Michigan said a $490 million settlement with more than 1,000 people who alleged sexual assault by a former sports doctor was finalized.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by David Gregorio

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