Monday, September 9, 2019 8:23 PM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
LOS ANGELES (AP) — George Tyndall, a former University of Southern California gynecologist charged with sexually assaulting patients, has surrendered his medical license, the state medical board announced Monday.
Tyndall surrendered the license effective last Thursday, the board announced. His license would have expired next Jan. 31.
The medical board suspended Tyndall's license last year. It accused him of engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with five women dating as far back as 2009. The women alleged that he groped and fondled them and made suggestive remarks during the exams at the USC student health center.
"The incidents outlined in the board's accusation against George Tyndall are egregious violations," Kimberly Kirchmeyer, the board's executive director, said in a statement. "On behalf of California consumers, the board achieved the highest level of patient protection with the surrender of Tyndall's license."
Tyndall's attorney, Peter Osinoff, said Tyndall was unable to convince the board to postpone disciplinary action until his criminal case ended and he couldn't defend himself before the board "without waiving his Fifth Amendment rights."
"So, he decided to devote his energy and resources to the defense of his criminal case, which is much more important for him," Osinoff said in a statement.
Tyndall worked at USC for nearly three decades before retiring in 2017 after a USC investigation concluded that there was evidence that he engaged in sexual misconduct.
In June, prosecutors charged Tyndall with 29 felony counts that could send him to prison for 53 years. Authorities say 16 patients ranging in age from 17 to 29 were abused during exams or other treatment.
Tyndall has denied any wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty.
More than 700 women have filed individual civil lawsuits against Tyndall and USC in state court. Separately, USC has agreed to a $215 million class-action settlement with former patients.
Some past victims of Tyndall's could soon have a fresh opportunity to file claims against the university. Lawmakers on Monday sent Gov. Gavin Newsom a bill that opens a one-year window for people to file for damages related to inappropriate sexual activity by a doctor at a student health center between 1988 and 2017. People could only file claims seeking damages of more than $250,000, and it does not apply to public universities.