Sexual abuse of patients by psychiatrists is hardly rare. In 2016, Health Research Group of Public Citizen examined the literature and analyzed the National Practitioner Data Bank for Sexual Misconduct, 2003-2013. They reported that the literature shows that “psychiatrists typically account for a disproportionately high share of reported cases.” [PLoS One]
The latest publicly uncovered case involves Dr. Eugene Redmond, a faculty member of the Yale School of Medicine for 44 years. He was twice found guilty in 1994 by an internal investigation, and in 2019 by an independent law firm investigation which found that he had “lured students to his research site on a Caribbean island, offering financial and professional support before sexually assaulting them — behavior that persisted for almost 25 years after Yale was made aware of the alleged actions.”
During his tenure at Yale School of Medicine, from 1974 through July 2018, Dr. Redmond had been accused of sexual misconduct by several students.
The details of this case are contained in a 54 page investigative report by an independent law firm. The report was released on August 14th, and was first reported by The Yale Daily News and The New Haven Register (Aug. 20, 2019).According to the report, Redmond attempted to obstruct the independent investigation by encouraging former students not to cooperate and advising some to “provide false information, or to withhold relevant information.” Redmond’s license to practice medicine in Connecticut remains active, per state records.
Redmond’s Sexual Misconduct: Our investigation revealed five credible accounts of sexual assaults in a shared bedroom, three incidents where Redmond conducted inappropriate medical examinations, and multiple other forms of sexual harassment. These incidents occurred between the early 1990s and 2018, often in St. Kitts, but sometimes in New Haven or other locations when Redmond was traveling with a student. The assaults all occurred in St. Kitts, one in the early 1990s, one in 1994, and three in the 2010s. Two of the exams occurred in the early 1990s and the third exam occurred in the late 2010s. Most, but not all, of the other misconduct occurred after 2005.
During most internships, Redmond required one of the male interns to share a bedroom with him… Our investigation revealed five sexual assaults spanning over twenty-five years, all of [them] occurred when the students were sharing a bedroom with Redmond and after they had been drinking with him.”
Between 2001 and 2017, Dr. Redmond recruited at least 20 students to the internship program.
Finally, only after Dr. Redmond retired from Yale in 2018, did the University hire a law firm on January 28, 2019, to independently investigate the five claims of rape. Former U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly was the firm’s investigator who interviewed 110 witnesses, including 38 current and former students most of who were Yale undergraduates at the time of the assaults. Dr. Redmond refused to be interviewed.
Attorney Daly found the students’ accounts to be “highly credible” because of the similarities in their descriptions of incidents that occurred over two decades. The students did not know one another. She noted that the interns’ accounts of sexual misconduct reflect “textbook grooming behavior”: Redmond garnered students’ trust, established control and created an “environment of secrecy and isolation,” per the report. Redmond reportedly conducted three purported medical exams of students that included “inappropriate genital and/or rectal exams.”
Only now, after the details of the case were made public, did the Yale administration see fit to develop basic oversight to ensure student safety.
According to a university press release (Aug. 20, 2019), “the University is developing a new protocol to supply additional oversight for internship and overnight programs. Faculty and staff will be required to register activities involving overnight stays off campus with undergraduates, and will be explicitly advised of guidelines for these trips, such as not sharing rooms with students.”
To my mind, the cover-up by the Yale Medical School and University is far more alarming than the case itself, inasmuch as it suggests that such cover-ups are the norm – as they have been shown to be within the Catholic hierarchy. Institutional cover-ups – be they scientific, ethical or sexual misconduct – leads to the spread of rampant misconduct, fraud, as well as sexual predatory behavior.
After the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct found him responsible for sexually harassing a student, Redmond retired from Yale in July 2018, still pending disciplinary action.
The independent investigator, former U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly, found the 13 students’ accounts to be “highly credible” due to the similarities in their descriptions of incidents that occurred over two decades and the fact that the students did not know one another. In all five cases of sexual assault, the students were sharing a bedroom with Redmond at his St. Kitts research facility at his behest, Daly noted. And the interns’ accounts of sexual misconduct reflect “textbook grooming behavior”: Redmond garnered students’ trust, established control and created an “environment of secrecy and isolation,” per the report. Redmond reportedly conducted three purported medical exams of students that included “inappropriate genital and/or rectal exams.”
Yale launched the independent investigation in January 2019 in response to a new complaint against Redmond, the third separate complaint reported to the University. The independent investigation was launched months after the former professor’s 2018 retirement and after the News first contacted University officials for comment on Redmond’s UWC case and retirement.
According to the report, Redmond attempted to obstruct the independent investigation by encouraging former students not to cooperate and advising some to “provide false information, or to withhold relevant information.” Redmond’s license to practice medicine in Connecticut remains active, per state records.
Yale has reported the information it has gained so far to the Yale Police Department and the New Haven Police Department, which will be in contact with law enforcement in St. Kitts, according to the email. Representatives from the Yale Police Department, NHPD Spokesman Captain Anthony Duff and Daly were not available for comment.