IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

USC women share allegations of sexual abuse by school's former gynecologist

Five women detailed alleged abuse during medical exams by former USC gynecologist George Tyndall, who is the subject of a criminal investigation.
/ Source: TODAY

Five women who say they were sexually abused by former University of Southern California gynecologist George Tyndall spoke to TODAY about how he allegedly preyed on their vulnerabilities, and how their complaints to the school went unheard.

USC graduates Allison Rowland, Shernae Hughes, Audry Nafziger, Kellyna Fox and Lucy Chi, who range in age from 21 to 53, spoke with Natalie Morales on Thursday about Tyndall.

We apologize, this video has expired.

"I really hope that by speaking out, that people will rise and know they're not alone and we don't have to keep this secret,'' said Nafziger, who got a law degree from USC and is now a sex crimes prosecutor.

"I kept this secret for a long time. They don't have to keep this secret."

Tyndall, who is facing a host of lawsuits from numerous women, was USC's only full-time gynecologist from 1989 until he was fired last year following an internal investigation.

Police are investigating more than 100 criminal complaints, but no criminal charges have been filed against Tyndall at this time. The Medical Board of California confirmed it is also actively investigating claims of sexual misconduct, but as of now Tyndall is still able to practice medicine.

We apologize, this video has expired.

NBC News repeatedly tried to reach Tyndall for comment and received no response. Tyndall insisted to The Los Angeles Times last month that he did nothing wrong.

He is estimated to have treated more than 10,000 women during his tenure, many of whom have similar stories of abuse.

Nafzeiger said he took pictures of her during a gynecological exam, and Fox said he had her fully undress while a nurse was behind a curtain and they were alone.

"While I was in the stirrups, he told me I was beautiful," Chi said.

Many of the women like Hughes and Fox were still teenagers and visiting a gynecologist for the first time when they went to Tyndall.

Fox said Tyndall told her when she was 18 that if she wanted to be on birth control, she had to have a pap smear exam, while Rowland and Nafziger said he falsely told them they had sexually-transmitted diseases.

"He diagnosed me with HPV,'' Rowland said. "There's no physical evidence in my body that I had a disease. He lied."

"I thought this was his style and I thought maybe I'm just uncomfortable with his style,'' Chi said. "It wasn't his style - he was a sexual predator and he sexually molested me, along with thousands of women."

Hughes, who graduated last year, filed a written complaint with the school in 2016. Rowland and Fox say they expressed their concerns to nurses but none of their accusations were addressed.

More than 400 women have reached out to USC since a May report by The Los Angeles Times about Tyndall's alleged behavior and the university's lack of response. USC had conducted an internal investigation, finding there was no criminal activity, and didn't contact the police until after the Times report was published.

We apologize, this video has expired.

Women have accused Tyndall of taking photos of their genitals, making lewd and racist remarks, groping their breasts and performing unnecessary digital exams.

USC president Max Nikias resigned last month in the wake of the scandal, sending an email to the student body saying in part, "On behalf of the university, I sincerely apologize to any student who may have visited the student health center and did not receive the respectful care each individual deserves."

"It's painful to know that our collective voices ultimately meant near nothing to USC,'' Hughes said.

The scandal follows one involving disgraced doctor Larry Nassar at Michigan State and USA Gymnastics. Michigan State agreed last month to pay survivors of Nassar's abuse $500 million in the largest settlement by a university in U.S. history.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter