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Lawyers Insist They Don't Rep Columbia Doctor Hadden Out on Sex Abuse Charge

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Video Photo
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 24 –  Columbia University doctor Robert A. Hadden was hit on September 9 with a Federal indictment charging that "sexually abused dozens of female patients, including multiple minors, under the guise of conducting purported gynecological and obstetric examinations."

The case was assigned to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Richard M. Berman, who handled the case of Jeffrey Epstein until he died in the Metropolitan Correctional Center.   Epstein came up during the bail argument, which Hadden won. Inner City Press live tweeted it, below.

  On December 23 Judge Berman denied Hadden's request for a taxpayer funded lawyer, and said that Clayman & Rosenberg LLP which represented Hadden at his arraignment and since should remain on the case.

 Now on December 24 that firm, through Wayne E. Gosnell, Hr. and Isabell Kirshner, have written to Judge Berman arguing they only represente Hadden on bail, criticizing the process and result of them being kept in the case. They say that "as officers of the court" they will file a redacted financial statement, but that they want out. It seems they might appeal. Watch this site.

On December 23 Judge Berman, in a 9 am proceeding that Inner City Press covered, recounted how Hadden disclaimed his share of a $2 million inheritance from his father (in favor of his children), and transferred funds. His affidavit will be made public - while Inner City Press has filed to unseal that of Michael Avenatti, here.

  Talk turned to putting a foot on the gas pedal for discovery. Thread here.

  It emerges that Judge Berman granted modifications to Hadden's bond - and the sealing of the names of non-family suretors. No notice to the press and public was provided.

On October 21 Judge Berman held a proceeding, and Inner City Press live tweeted it here:

Judge Berman is starting - says Hadden wants a tax payer funded lawyer now (like Michael Avenatti has gotten, while sealing his affidavit for now, here, like Parnas co-defendant David Correia).

 Judge Berman says he wants more information from Hadden. Judge Berman: We need a more professional and up to date financial affidavit. I want one that is notarized, accompanied by a certified financial report prepared by an accountant. [Could most low income defendants do this? What are the rules/ And will it be public?

 Now Pre-Trial Services from NJ is on the line.  Judge Berman: I need more than back of the envelope type information, before I can determine if he is entitled to appointed counsel. We're going to have to do a do-over.

Q: Like in a pre-sentence report? Judge Berman: I want three years of financials, certified. Then I'll take a look. For the moment, I prefer that current counsel remains in the picture. Any questions? So, the 2d issue, I want to hear from pre-trial services

Pre-trial: No issues. He calls in when need. Judge Berman: He has other obligations. A mental health evaluation & therapeutic counseling.  Pre-Trial: I have spoken with his psychiatrist.  Judge Berman: Did you mention a name?

Pre-Trial: They are meeting on Zoom

Hadden's lawyer: That should be ex parte, not public - like the suretors are not public. Some might target them, members of the public who have an agenda.

Judge Berman: I don't agree as to professionals. Over your objection, I am going to ask for the names.

 Pre-Trial: Susan Powders (sp), psychiatrist and Dr Mirantz, psychologist, tele-health. Judge Berman:  I had requested documents from the NYS court proceeding, the plea and sentencing transcript [Inner City Press note: echoes of Epstein, Florida state proceeding]

Judge Berman: You've said you want to avoid additional adverse pre-trial publicity - that is, to not file the NYS transcripts. But they are publicly filed documents, including the risk assessment repeated in the NYS sentencing proceeding Inner City Press

Judge Berman: You've argued that the non public nature of the documents is based on the practices of the NY County DA

Judge Berman: Frankly I didn't see much that was private in those documents... There was a written waiver of a right to appeal... the SORA risk assessment (Judge Berman reading from a transcript)

Judge Berman: The NYS documents were relied upon, so I am going to file on the public docket: the NYS indictment, the NYS plea transcript, the NYS sentencing transcript, the risk assessment, the NYS plea agreement and the email between the ADA and Hadden's counsel

 AUSA: If Hadden gets a taxpayer funded CJA lawyer, the government is only aware of conflicts of interest with regard to Debevoise and Paul Weiss, but not with Federal Defenders.

 Hadden's lawyer asks how to get anything notarized due to COVID. Judge Berman says he's looking forward to it. Sets next conference for after election day. Nov 12, 9:30 pm.

 On September 25 Judge Berman held a proceeding, and Inner City Press live tweeted:

Hadden's lawyer emphasizes he stopped practicing medicine in 2012. AUSA wants names redacted; says her Office forwards all court date info to the victims.

Judge Berman: If you send me a joint letter, maybe the next status conference won't be needed. First is the conditional discharge that was subject to the plea agreement. Was it for three years? Or one year?

 Judge Berman: And what's the level of Mr. Hadden's reporting in New Jersey, where he lives?

Q: Is the Court asking the District Attorney's office to say why it accept, for Mr. Haddan, Level 1?

[NOTE: While NY DA is playing hero in 2d Cir, looking baaad here.]

 Hadden proceeding wrapping up. Next is Oct 2, though that would be canceled if bail issues are resolved. There's a letter due about what NY District Attorney did on Hadden

 Inner City Press will continue on this.

  Back on September 9 close to 10 pm, Hadden emerged from Pre-Trial then the courthouse. Inner City Press and three others sought to ask him questions, about the victims' statements and double jeopardy. He did not answer. A man in an FBI t-shirt led him first up Mulberry Street, then past the NYC criminal court at 100 Centre Street and finally out to Broadway and Reade Street where a taxi was waiting for Hadden. Periscope video here.

 SDNY Acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss held a press conference about the case on September 9.

  Inner City Press asked her if the indictment had been returned by a fully in-person grand jury, or if it had included a virtual component of the type being questioned in the CIA / Joshua Schulte, Melzer, Balde and other cases.

   US Attorney Strauss said the indictment was returned in the normal course, by a sitting grand jury. Periscope video here. Alamy photo here. She declined to say whether her office would be seeking detention pending trial, or agreeing to a bail package as they did in the recent case of indicted UN rapist Karim Elkorany.

There was no mention at the press conference for the charges against Hadden made publicly by Evelyn Yang, the wife of Andrew Yang, and not much mention of Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance.

Hours later, a bail proceeding before SDNY Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger (and not the Magistrate on duty on September 8, Barbara Moses). Inner City Press live tweeted it:

Speaking for the US is AUSA Maurene Comey...

 Judge Lehrburger: We are proceeding under the CARES Act. This is open to the press and public. Any recording is  prohibited. Hadden's lawyer: We are only representing him for this proceeding

 Judge Lehrburger: You have the right to remain silent... You have a right to be released unless I find danger to the community or risk of non-appearance for future court proceedings.  [Note: Ghislaine Maxwell was found a risk of flight]

Judge Lehrburger: You are charged with six counts of Enticement and Inducement to Travel To Engage In Illegal Sex Acts. Hadden's lawyer enters not guilty plea. AUSA Maurene Comey: The government seeks detention as risk of flight.

AUSA Comey: Today, the government has communicated with 20 victims. They all say he should be detained. He has the financial means to flee. Because of the minor victim, there is a statutory presumption of detention that cannot be overcome.

 AUSA Comey: He abused dozens of victims, including multiple minors, as prominent institution's [Columbia U] OB-GYN. He would sent nurses out of the room. [Did they ever report it?]

AUSA Comey: He conducted unneeded breast exams. He touched genitals without any medical purpose. He attempted to stimulate them, to gratify himself. For two decades. One victim, he had delivered as a baby

AUSA Comey: The women traveled to see him because he worked at a prominent institution. [What about Columbia?]

 He faces 20 years on each count. He is already 62. So he has an incentive to flee. The victims have a right to see him in court, being held to account.

 AUSA Comey: The government's cooperation with the FBI remains ongoing. We expect a superseding indictment. He will face more exposure. He recently received several hundreds of thousands of dollars in life insurance policies. Sure he has a home in New Jersey.

 AUSA Comey: The NY County DA previously charged him - he was sentenced without jail time in 2016. Now that he is Federally charged, he faces more serious prison time. His interests have shifted. He should not be allowed to re-victimize by fleeing.

AUSA Comey: Under the Crimes Victims Act, we have informed those with whom we spoke in our investigation. All 20 said, Detain him. Some wish to address the court. 1 is on the line & will speak in her own name. 5 provided written statements, 4 of them as Jane Doe

 Judge Lehrburger: Am I correct you are not pursuing detention based on danger to the community? AUSA Comey: Not at this time. Defense lawyer: They haven't met the threshold. He stopped being a doctor 8 years ago, nothing has occurred since. I met him in 2012.

 Hadden's lawyer: He was arrested and unarrested. Two years later he was indicted by the NY County DA. During that time civil litigation was filed against him. He didn't go anywhere. Sure he got no jail time. But that was due to a Brady violation by a prosecutor

Hadden's lawyer: They spoke with Mr. Hadden's daughter today and they know the money he gave her was to assist her in buying her first home. He has a 29 year old son Alex who is mentally retarded, IQ in the 40s... His wife had juvenile diabetes

 Hadden's lawyer: The US wants to bring him to trial. They made that clear at the rather loud press conference they held today. I don't know how many of their sources are plaintiffs in the civil litigation. The State had a 800 number. Mr. DiPietro has an 800 number

Hadden's lawyer: We know was going on at the MCC and MDC, and the lawsuits. He has high blood pressure. Pre-Trial has recommended that bail be set. AUSA Comey: I don't know what defense counsel was implying about the victims. They wish to be heard today.

Judge Lehrburger: I leave it to you, AUSA, to orchestrate testimony. Hadden's lawyer: We object to any anonymous victims. Judge Lehrburger: Please proceed. Jessica Chambers. I'm upset the defense says he can't victim again. That's disrespect

 Jessica Chambers: The court needs to make sure he can't flee or hurt himself. AUSA Comey: I have 5 statements. 1st by Lauren Kanyok. She says, I called the police. I had just had a baby. Now I am afraid to be naked and alone with a man. It was a long twisted road

Lauren Kanyok's statement: I will have to tell my daughter. No doctor has a right to violate you. Do not allow him to be free. AUSA Comey: Judge Berman has allowed, in US v Epstein, anonymous testimony. If these testify at trial, we will provide the names.

Hadden's lawyer: Is Ms. Kanyok one of the six in the complaint? AUSA Comey: We are not in a position to answer that. Judge Lehrburger: Let's hear the statements. AUSA Comey: Jane Doe 1, quote, "I won't call him a man. He preyed on women. Only later did I realize.

Jane Doe 1: He should not be bailed. The system failed us once. I hope you stand behind us, your Honor.

 JD 2: He does not deserve bail. He has disregarded my body. My trust has been shattered.

JD 3: Justice was not served in 2016. He should not have the Internet

Jane Doe 4: He has violated all types of women. He should not be bailed. Judge Lehrburger: I want to thank the victims. I am taking them into account to the extent I can. My obligation is to determine if there are conditions to reasonably assure return to court.

 Judge Lehrburger: Is this a presumption case? AUSA Comey: Yes. Judge Lehrburger: The defense may rebut, then the US has to show by a preponderance... The nature of the offense is monstrous. The defense has shown the care of impaired child

Cutting in: an adult

 Judge Lehrburger: These is very little evidence of risk of flight... He did not flee in the past. The bottom line is while it may be desirable to detain someone out of retribution, I don't have enough from the government...

Judge Lehrburger: We are reminded by the case of Mr. Epstein that one can escape justice by taking one's life - even in prison. If he is found guilty, he should be punished. But I am not able to find no set of conditions... So, I am not prepared to detain him.

 Judge Lehrburger: A million dollar bond sounds appropriate, pledging the home, co-signed by three financial responsible persons. Who? Hadden's lawyer: Wife, and I don't know.

Judge Lehrburger: I am going to order electronic monitoring, with a curfew. Hadden's lawyer: He is responsible for all the shopping.  Judge Lehrburger: Only out for care of the children and to sustain himself, his wife and home.

Hadden's lawyer: And legal visits

Judge Lehrburger: And religious. I'd like to order GPS. Self-installation would be allowed. Travel limited to SDNY, EDNY and NJ "and points in between." No contact with victims or witnesses; no unsupervised contact with minors except his daughter. [The homebuyer?]

Judge Lehrburger: In terms of satisfying the conditions, when will the signatures be in place? Hadden's lawyer: Everything is clunky with COVID. Give us until next week. Judge Lehrburger: Ten days. Let him sign this evening.

 AUSA Comey: Give us a control date in 2 weeks, and exclusion of time under the Speedy Trial Act.
 Judge Lehrburger: Agreed. Another defense lawyer: The US took his electronic devices. There will be legally privileged material on them.

Judge Lehrburger: We are adjourned.

 The case is US v. Hadden, 20-cr-468 (Berman / Lehrburger).


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