UES Hospital Must Return Photos Of Sex Abuse Victims: Lawyers
UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Sex abuse victims of a long-time Rockefeller University doctor who was hailed as a “miracle worker” stood in front of the Upper East Side institution Tuesday with their lawyers to demand the hospital turn over any medical records that may contain nude images taken of victims under the guise of medical research.
Rockefeller University Hospital admitted in October that the institution was aware that Dr. Reginald Archibald may have molested, raped and photographed children between the ages of 6 and 16 from the 1940s to the 1980s. In the wake of the admission, lawyers representing Archibald’s victims are calling on the university to “do the right thing” and turn over any illicit photographs the doctor took of them.
“Those photographs have not been returned, and we have a number of the former patients — then children now adults — who have traveled across the country to formally demand that Rockefeller University either turn over the photographs, provide answers as to where the photographs are or to alternatively get the Attorney General of New York involved investigating where those photos are,” Attorney Michael Pfau said Tuesday.
The law firms Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala Law and Marsh Law Firm PLLC are representing the victims in their cases against Rockefeller. Lawyers estimated that there may be thousands of images of victims that should be considered child pornography.
“It doesn’t matter if [the photos] were taken 10 years ago or two days ago. So whoever holds these images, whoever possess them — whether it’s the institution or the individuals — they’re liable for the possession of child pornography,” Attorney James Marsh said. “The fact that we don’t know what happened to tens of thousands of these images is very disturbing for our clients.”
Marsh said that the lawyers have not yet spoken to the Attorney General’s office and are counting on voluntary disclosure by Rockefeller University as a first step in locating photos of their clients.