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Manhattan Hospital 'Appalled' By Former Doctor's Inappropriate Contact With Patients

October 19, 2018 - 7:39 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A New York City doctor who spent decades treating children at Rockefeller University Hospital may have also been sexually abusing them.

Dr. Reginal Archibald is accused of abusing children decades ago.

Web Extra: Read the Statement Here

In a statement, the hospital said, "We have come to learn that Dr. Reginald Archibald, who retired from the Rockefeller University Hospital in 1982, engaged in certain inappropriate conduct during patient examinations. The Hospital and University deeply regret pain and suffering caused to any of Dr. Archibald’s former patients."

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, one man said he was abused by Dr. Archibald in the 1970s when he was between the ages of 6 and 14, during studies that Archibald was doing on the use of growth programs.

"He started very vigorously rubbing my genitals and I could see he was getting pleasure from it,” the man said. “That was frightening."

In a statement, the hospital admitted that a similar complaint was turned over to authorities.

"In 2004, The Rockefeller University Hospital was informed of a report by a former patient related to the propriety of certain of Dr. Archibald’s conduct during physical examinations," the statement said. "The University notified the federal Office of Human Research Protections, the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct, and the Manhattan District Attorney. In addition, the University retained legal counsel Debevoise & Plimpton LLP to investigate. Following its review of then-available information, including from interviews with former patients, faculty, administrators, and staff, and two prior reports made in the 1990s that were located, Debevoise found certain allegations credible and determined that it was likely that some of Dr. Archibald’s behavior towards this patient was inappropriate."

No charges were filed in that case.

Archibald retired in 1982 and died in 2007.

Attorney Jennifer Freeman with the Marshall Law Firm accused the hospital of a cover-up.

"We've talked to victims. We informed them much earlier than that,” Freeman said. “There are even children who were complaining in the waiting room after their examinations."

The hospital sent thousands of letters to Archibald's former patients and are asking for any other victims to come forward.

"In the two weeks following the mailing of the letters, we heard from many of Dr. Archibald’s former patients, including a number who told us that they had been subjected to sexual misconduct. We are appalled to hear those accounts of Dr. Archibald’s reprehensible behavior. We deeply regret pain and suffering caused to any of Dr. Archibald’s former patients. We are extremely grateful to patients for sharing their experiences with us," the hospital said.

"Due to the passage of time, though, the Hospital has encountered difficulties in locating all of Dr. Archibald’s former patients. Patients with information they would like to share regarding their interactions with Dr. Archibald should contact Helen Cantwell, of Debevoise at: (212) 909-6312 or hcantwell@debevoise.com."

The hospital thanked those patiemts for coming forward and said the investigation "has been aided immeasurably" by the responses they've received.