Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
University Hospital

Cascade of Child Sexual Abuse Accusations Arises Against Dr. Reginald Archibald of The Rockefeller University Hospital in New York

The New York Times has published an article revealing what appears to be a widespread pattern of sexual exploitation and abuse by now-deceased Dr. Reginald Archibald at The Rockefeller University Hospital, a staggering range of incidents that may date back as far as the 1950s and extend to a thousand patients or more.

The Times cites “conversations with 17 people, most of them men, who said they were abused by Dr. Archibald when they were young boys or adolescents.” Most only learned that other victims existed after they received a letter in September 2018 from the hospital asking about their experiences with Dr. Archibald, which later was followed by an online posting stating that the Rockefeller Hospital had evidence of Archibald’s “inappropriate” conduct with patients via credible evidence the hospital had possessed since 2004. At least one recipient has noted that hospital administrators indicated such letters may have gone to 1,000 former patients of the doctor.

As the Times reports, “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.”

A spokesman for the hospital would not answer any questions about the timing of the hospital’s knowledge of the accusations, or why it made no earlier efforts to contact former patients since reports arose in 2004. Other data indicate the alleged abuse and complaints about it may date back as far as 30 years or longer.

Although current New York law prohibits the filing of lawsuits for matters that old, a proposed update would expand such limitations with respect to child sexual abuse cases, creating a year-long period during which all victims could sue regardless of the timing of the abuse. The legal change has stalled in the New York state legislature, and as the Times notes, “is vigorously opposed by institutions, including the Roman Catholic Church, which has argued that the one-year window could lead to catastrophic financial damage.”

Horrifically, the current allegations point towards persistent and widespread sexual abuse by Dr. Archibald that may extend as far back as the 1950s, relating to child patients from ages as young as six to 17.

Read the full story on the New York Times website.

Contact a Sexual Abuse Lawyer at Lieff Cabraser

Lieff Cabraser is representing a wide range of plaintiffs in multiple lawsuits over sexual abuse, sexual violence, and harassment, including in cases against USC, the Hotchkiss College Preparatory School, and Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. You can contact Lieff Cabraser partners Annika K. Martin, Wendy Fleishman, or Mark Chalos by telephone at 212 355-9500 or you can use the confidential form on this page. There is no charge or obligation for your outreach, and all information will be held in the strictest confidence.