Judge rejects motions by NY doc facing sex assault charges

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge rejected arguments Wednesday that were aimed at dismissing sex assault charges against a former New York gynecologist.

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman also rejected a request by lawyers for Robert Hadden that his upcoming trial be moved outside of New York. The Englewood, New Jersey, resident was arrested last year.

A former gynecologist, Hadden has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of sexually abusing dozens of young and unsuspecting female patients for over two decades — including a young girl he’d delivered at birth — while trying to make the victims believe the abuse was appropriate and medically necessary.

Hadden, 63, remains free on $1 million bail. Trial is scheduled for March 28.

Prosecutors said they began their probe last year before obtaining an indictment charging Hadden with bringing patients, including multiple minors, across state lines for the purpose of sexual abuse from approximately 1993 to 2012.

Among arguments he rejected Wednesday, Berman noted that defense lawyers asserted the federal government was prosecuting the case as a tool of state prosecutors.

He called the theory “far-fetched, speculative, conclusory” and said that although there was no referral of the case from a New York district attorney to federal authorities, it would not be improper if it had happened.

The judge also rejected a request to move the trial to another venue, saying pretrial publicity was not pervasive and half of the jury pool in Manhattan federal court comes from outside Manhattan anyway.

A message seeking comment was sent to Hadden’s lawyers.

The indictment said the abuse took place at medical offices and Manhattan hospitals while Hadden worked as a medical doctor at Columbia University and at New York Presbyterian Hospital. The two institutions announced a settlement earlier this month with 79 women who say they were abused by Hadden, and established a $71.5 million compensation fund.

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