NEW YORK – Lawyers representing a New Jersey doctor convicted of sexually abusing patients have raised concerns about threats and extortion their client has been facing while awaiting sentencing at a federal jail in Brooklyn. The lawyers are requesting a three-year prison term, significantly less than the potential decades-long sentence he could receive.
Robert Hadden, a 64-year-old gynecologist from Englewood, New Jersey, has allegedly become a target for violence due to a mistaken belief among inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center that he is a child molester. In a presentence submission filed in Manhattan federal court, his attorneys stated that Hadden has been subjected to threats, forced to surrender his personal belongings, and lives in constant fear.
According to the lawyers, Hadden has experienced significant physical and emotional distress since his trial. He spends most of his time in his cell, avoiding interactions, and suffers from trembling hands, rashes, and a substantial weight loss of 35 pounds.
In an effort to cope with the challenging jail conditions, Hadden has turned to religious activities and has been tutoring other inmates, the lawyers noted.
Hadden was convicted in January following a two-week trial during which nine former patients testified against him, recounting instances of sexual abuse during medical examinations. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 24, with victims given an opportunity to make statements on June 28.
The federal charges against Hadden, which involve enticing victims to cross state lines for sexual abuse, carry a potential sentence of multiple decades in prison. In 2016, he pleaded guilty in state court to charges related to a smaller number of victims. While the plea deal resulted in the surrender of his medical license, it did not entail any jail time.
Hadden previously worked at renowned Manhattan hospitals, including Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, before his career came to an end due to complaints about his misconduct. The hospitals have agreed to pay over $236 million in civil settlements to more than 200 former patients.
During the trial, Hadden’s defense did not dispute the allegations of patient molestation but argued that the federal charges were inappropriate as the state court plea deal had already addressed those crimes. The Bureau of Prisons and federal prosecutors have not yet provided comment on the matter.