Were you or a loved one abused by Dr. Reginald Archibald? Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to you. You are not alone. Dozens of former patients have stepped forward to accuse the prestigious pediatrician of child molestation and abuse, leading his former employer, Rockefeller University Hospital, to make a public apology.
Attorneys Launch Full Investigation Into Rockefeller University Hospital
Some abuse survivors may be eligible to pursue compensation by filing a private lawsuit. Several survivors have leveled serious allegations against Rockefeller University Hospital, including accusations that the hospital failed to adequately protect young patients from Dr. Archibald’s abuse. In cases when medical professionals abuse patients, hospitals can often be held accountable for allowing the assaults to occur.
If you or a loved one were abused by Dr. Archibald, our dedicated legal team is here to help. We’ve helped countless survivors step forward with confidence. Our only goal is to ensure that survivors have a voice. Learn more about your legal options in a free consultation today. You can find more information on your rights at no charge and no obligation.
Hospital Acknowledges Dr. Archibald’s History Of Abuse
Rockefeller University Hospital has admitted in a letter that Dr. Reginald Archibald, a prestigious doctor studying child growth and maturation, may have sexually abused dozens of patients during his tenure at the research hospital.
Dr. Archibald, who died in 2007, worked at Rockefeller from 1941 to 1946 and 1948 to 1982. He was a distinguished pediatrician at the hospital, working mainly to help young men of small stature. But he may have also been sexually abusing many of his patients.
In a letter sent to Archibald’s former patients, Rockefeller wrote, “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.”
Decades Of Sexual Misconduct
The New York Times spoke to 17 former patients, most of whom are men, who say they were abused as adolescents by Dr. Archibald. Several of these men say they reported the abuse to hospital officials, but that their complaints were not investigated. In its report, the Times describes Archibald’s pattern of abuse in graphic detail:
“The men all described similar experiences with Dr. Archibald, who would tell them to disrobe when they were alone in his examination room. He would masturbate them or ask them to masturbate, sometimes to ejaculation. The doctor took pictures of them, while they were naked, with a Polaroid camera, and measured their penises both flaccid and erect, the men said.”
In an interview with ABC7, one of the victims, who chose to remain anonymous, said, “I remember being examined by him. I remember him measuring me, and it says it in my medical records, the size of my penis.”
Taking measurements of a flaccid penis would have been considered normal until the 1980s or 1990s, says Dr. Howard Markel, a professor of medical history at the University of Michigan. But taking measurements while a boy was erect, or asking him to masturbate, was not acceptable practice, even decades ago.
Survivor Accuses Archibald Of Rape
Other survivors have accused Dr. Archibald of rape. A 58-year-old man from Brooklyn says he believes that he was raped by Archibald during a trip to the doctor’s summer home in Canada. According to the New York Times, “the former patient, who asked to be identified only by his first name, John, because of the nature of the alleged assault, said Dr. Archibald watched him masturbate during examinations at the hospital. But one summer, when he was about 13, the doctor convinced his parents to let John accompany him to the house[.] John said Dr. Archibald tried to shower with him at a motel on the two-day trip to the house but he ran out of the bathroom. Once they arrived, John said, he believed Dr. Archibald drugged and raped him. He angrily insisted on being taken home, he said.”
Rockefeller University Fielded Complaints In 1990s
This is not the first time that sexual abuse allegations have been leveled at Dr. Archibald. In fact, sexual abuse reports have swirled around Dr. Archibald for decades. At least two allegations of sexual misconduct were made against the physician during the 1990s, though there is scant evidence that Rockefeller followed up on these initial reports.
Several additional complaints came to light in 2004. The 2004 allegations led to an internal Rockefeller University investigation, the hospital says in a press release published on October 18, 2018.
The investigation found sufficient evidence to substantiate at least some of the sexual misconduct accusations against Archibald. Rockefeller says it implemented a new safety and protection policy for pediatric patients after the 2004 investigation was completed. The hospital says that it informed the Manhattan district attorney’s office, the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct and a federal agency that regulates medical research.
New Allegations Spur Renewed Investigation
The hospital’s recent admission to the public was made after new allegations of sexual impropriety came to light this year. The University hired an outside law firm to investigate the new complaints, aided by a number of previously-unknown abuse survivors who chose to step forward.
In the wake of these revelations, Rockefeller University Hospital has set up a fund to help abuse survivors find counseling. The hospital has also announced a partnership with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), which will help survivors of Archibald’s abuse find support services in their area.
But survivors of abuse can’t help but ask why it took so long for Rockefeller University Hospital to address the problem. “To know that they knew about this in 2004 and didn’t reach out to people,” says Matt Harris, a former patient of Dr. Archibald, “it’s absolutely outrageous.” The Hospital says it has rescinded Archibald’s emeritus and removed all references to the doctor from its website.