Sexual abuse survivors call for the New York District Attorney to resign

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In a morning press conference outside New York City Hall, Hadden’s prosecutors Marissa Hoechstetter and Dayna Solomon stood with supporters and asked for the expulsion of Manhattan’s chief prosecutor, saying he was too lenient with the man he allegedly allegedly abused them.

“When I reported the crimes against me to the DA in 2015, I was one of over 20 women who would come forward for the same man,” said Hoechstetter on Thursday, “Rather than respect me and pursue justice, the district attorney chose to offer Hadden a reason that some have called the agreement of the century. “

Hadden, previously a Columbia University hospital system physician, was facing nine allegations of sexual abuse allegations when he made a deal with prosecutors in Vance’s office in 2016.

Hadden was accused of attempting, penetrating and licking multiple women. Hadden ultimately pleaded guilty to two allegations of sexual abuse. Under the terms of the plea deal, he renounced his medical license and did not serve the sentence.

“Cyrus Vance got all the information he needed to adequately respond to the victims,” ​​said Solomon on Thursday. “Instead he went out of his way to make sure Robert Hadden avoided jail.”

Hadden’s case has received renewed attention since then Evelyn Yang told CNN last week she was attacked by the doctor in 2012. CNN also reported that Hadden had been arrested in her office in 2012 prior to Yang’s alleged assault, after another patient reported to the police that Hadden had licked her vagina during an exam. .

However, the arrest was canceled and Hadden was allowed to return to work.

“Vance allowed this to happen,” said Hoechstetter of the canceled arrest. “It’s on him and he has to resign immediately.”

Vance’s office defended his conduct in the Hadden case to ensure that Hadden no longer saw patients.

“Since a conviction is never a guaranteed result in a criminal trial, our main concern was to make him responsible and make sure he could never do it again – which is why we insisted on a conviction for a crime and on permanent waiver of his medical license. “Vance said in a statement to CNN.

“While supporting our legal analysis and the resulting disposition of this difficult case, we regret that this resolution caused pain to the survivors.”

Hadden denied allegations of assault in court documents, aside from the two counts – third degree criminal and forced touching sexual act – at which he pleaded guilty.

Marissa Hoechstetter, in the center, and her lawyer, Anthony DiPietro, in the microphone, joined supporters on Thursday at New York City Hall to demand the resignation of Manhattan's district attorney Cyrus Vance.

Hoechstetter is the only actress named among 21 women who sued Hadden, Columbia University and its affiliates.

Anthony DiPietro, a lawyer representing 47 women, including Hoechstetter and Solomon, who accuse Hadden of abuse, said Thursday that Vance’s office lied to two of his clients about the possibility of filing criminal charges against the doctor .

“We know that at least two women who have come forward have been lied to by the district attorney’s office and said they were outside the penal limitations statute,” said DiPietro. “We can compare the medical records of when they were abused with the date the final reason was presented. The statute of limitations was still intact for those patients, but Vance made the decision not to prosecute Hadden for those attacks.”

Hoechstetter said it was one of those two women.

Asked Thursday to respond to this accusation, Vance’s office declined to comment.

New York City councilor Carlina Rivera, co-president of the city’s women’s Caucus, supported Vance’s request for expulsion.

“Under the leadership of Cy Vance, the Manhattan district attorney’s office, and in particular his sexual crimes unit and special victims’ office, failed to protect and fight for survivors against wealthy white men and powerful men who have committed countless sexual assaults, “he said. “It’s time for Cy Vance to step down.”

The Hadden case is not the first time that the Manhattan district attorney’s office has been criticized for handling sexual abuse cases.

In 2018, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo accused the state attorney general of reviewing Vance’s office following the district attorney’s decision not to prosecute Harvey Weinstein in a 2015 sexual abuse case. This review was suspended. several months later.

The attorney general’s office, which is currently involved in its lawsuit against Weinstein, confirmed to CNN on Thursday that the review in Vance’s office remains pending.

Weinstein is now tried on rape charges in New York City and pleaded not guilty.

Vance is awaiting re-election in 2021.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled the name of the accuser Dayna Solomon.

Nelli Black and Drew Griffin of CNN contributed to this report.

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