In late 2018, the New York Times published revelations of a widespread pattern of sexual exploitation and abuse by now-deceased Dr. Reginald Archibald at The Rockefeller University Hospital in New York, a staggering range of incidents that dates back as far as the 1950s and may extend to a thousand child patients or more.
The Times cited “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 reported, “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 2019 change in New York state law expands the reach of lawsuits against child sexual predators. Charges can now be brought until a victim turns 28, and victims can sue until age 55. The law also creates a one-year “look back” window during which old claims that had previously been time-barred can be revived. (Many states allow child sexual abuse claims to be brought decades after an assault occurs, and nine have no statutes of limitations on such offenses at all.)