About 300 patients have contacted the University of Southern California (USC) about George Tyndall, a former campus gynecologist who has been accused of decades of sexual misconduct at the student health center, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.
The university is said to have begun to share the names of patients with the Los Angeles police department, but didn't disclose how many names were shared, according to the newspaper.
Christopher Mo, a department public information officer, told China Daily on Wednesday that he is aware that USC has given the department information about former patients, but he said there is still no formal criminal investigation against Tyndall, who had worked at the health center for nearly 30 years.
The USC Board of Trustees announced on Wednesday that it unanimously decided to form a special committee of the board to hire outside legal counsel to conduct an independent investigation into the alleged misconduct and reporting failures that occurred at the health center.
"Outside counsel will report directly to the special committee, which will operate independently, but will report its findings to the full Board of Trustees,'' the school said.
Complaints of Tyndall's alleged misconduct toward young female patients include improper photographing of genitals, improper touching during pelvic exams and making sexually suggestive comments. He had been the only full-time gynecologist at the health center before he agreed to retire in June 2017 with a separation agreement, including severance pay.
Tyndall has told the Times that he had "done nothing wrong".
There are 45,500 students enrolled in the 2017-18 academic year at the private school in Los Angeles, including around 5,400 from the Chinese mainland.
Three Chinese former students who returned to China after graduation filed lawsuits on Tuesday against Tyndall, 71. Six other women sued USC on Monday in separate lawsuits alleging that the university had failed to address the complaints against Tyndall.
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that one student who filed a suit against Tyndall and USC alleges that during an exam in 2016 he made comments about her Filipina heritage, including telling her that "Filipinas are good in bed." The suit accuses him of not using gloves during an exam during which she said she felt uncomfortable. The suit accuses USC of negligence and Tyndall of sexual battery.
According to the Times, some colleagues of Tyndall feared that the gynecologist was targeting the university's growing population of Chinese students in recent years. Those Chinese students often had a limited knowledge of the English language and American medical norms.
In a letter to faculty and staff on Tuesday, USC Provost Michael Quick wrote: "Some ask about Dr Tyndall's targeting of Chinese (and other international) students. Although this was alleged, there is no evidence that any one group of students was affected more than others. We are carefully reviewing all complaints and have yet to find a pattern in who was affected.''
The Chinese Students and Scholars Association, a major Chinese student organization at USC, issued a statement, calling on Chinese students to bravely speak up against any violations of their rights.
More than 200 faculty members at the university have called for USC President Max Nikias to resign amid the scandal. Board of trustees Chairman John Mork released a statement on Tuesday saying its executive committee strongly supports Nikias.
Complaints about Tyndall from USC students go back years, but the university didn't publicly acknowledge the history or reveal a report about Tyndall's alleged misconduct at the health center until after it was contacted by the Times last week.