A collection of photographs showing nude women was discovered in a self-storage unit rented by Dr. George Tyndall, the former University of Southern California gynecologist accused of sexually abusing hundreds of students during examinations.
The cache of images appeared to include homemade pornography – some of it decades old and featuring Tyndall with women apparently unconnected to the university – but also photos of unclothed women in what appeared to be a medical exam room, police Capt. Billy Hayes told the Los Angeles Times.
Authorities found the photos last spring after they launched an investigation into Tyndall. They are now being used in the probe.
The investigation is believed to be the “largest sex crimes investigation involving an individual in LAPD history,” the Los Angeles Times reported. The investigation is ongoing and the sex crimes unit of the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office will determine whether to file criminal charges.
Tyndall, 71, resigned from his position last year. Hundreds of current and former USC students have made allegations against Tyndall to the university, filed police reports or taken part in at least a dozen pending state lawsuits against the school. In October, USC administrators agreed to settle a federal class-action suit on behalf of Tyndall’s patients for $215 million.
Detectives are trying to determine whether any of the photographs found in the storage facility show patients at campus clinic appointments.
Leonard Levine, the doctor’s lawyer, said in a statement that Tyndall has “never sold, traded or shared any images of patients he examined while conducting medical examinations at USC.”
John Manly, an attorney representing many former Tyndall patients, told the Times that between 10 and 20 of his clients were asked questions by police that seemed designed to identify them in photos.
"This plays into the worst nightmares of women," Manly said.
USC said it was cooperating with the investigation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.