The Los Angeles Times recently won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for its series of stories on a former gynecologist at the University of Southern California (USC) accused of sexually abusing hundreds of students at a campus clinic over nearly three decades.
While the newspaper articles recognize an extraordinary piece of journalism, they also shed light on the issue of sexual abuse in America. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:
- One in five women and one in 71 men in the U.S. will be raped at some point in their lives;
- One in three women and one in six men in the U.S. experience some form of sexual violence;
- In eight out of 10 rape cases, the victim knew the person who assaulted him or her;
- 8% of rapes occur while the victim is at work.
Investigative Reporting Leads to Dramatic Changes at USC
In the USC case, an anonymous tip led three LA Times reporters to investigate long-standing concerns that current and former clinic employees had about USC gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall.
The trio of journalists spent months documenting how complaints about Tyndall began in the 1990s, when co-workers alleged he was improperly photographing students’ genitals during medical exams. Over the years, patients and nursing staff repeatedly accused Dr. Tyndall of “creepy” behavior, including touching women inappropriately during pelvic exams and making sexually suggestive remarks about their bodies.
Eventually, the investigative reports led to more than 650 women filing suit against USC, alleging the university had failed to protect them from sexual abuse. The series also triggered local, state, and federal investigations – a review that led to the Los Angeles Police Department’s largest-ever sex crimes investigation of a single suspect, as well as dramatic changes at USC, including the resignation of university president C.L. Max Nikias.
What Should You Do If You Are a Victim of Sexual Assault?
While every instance of sexual abuse may not attract the same degree of media and legal attention, each is just as devastating to the victim. If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse, you owe it to yourself to do something about it.
Start today by contacting the authorities. Sexual abuse is a crime and needs to be reported. But don’t stop there. Contact our sexual abuse attorneys—we will investigate your case for free. You pay nothing unless we win. Call 800-730-7111 today.