Los Angeles Times reporters Matt Hamilton, Harriet Ryan and Paul Pringle were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism Monday for their work uncovering long-running sexual abuse allegations against former USC campus gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall.
“The award recognizes an extraordinary piece of journalism that continues the Los Angeles Times’ commitment to public service journalism and stories that have real impact on the lives of our readers,” Norman Pearlstine, The Times’ executive editor, told the paper. “Through all of the turmoil of the last few years, the one constant has been the newsroom’s commitment to public service journalism.”
The Times’ investigation into Tyndall began in early 2018 thanks to an anonymous phone call received by Ryan, leading to an extensive probe that uncovered allegations of sexual misconduct by the longtime campus doctor dating back to the 1990s. The allegations included complaints about Tyndall taking photos of female students during gynecological exams or making sexually and racially inappropriate comments to patients.
More than 600 women have since sued Tyndall and USC, alleging the university was long aware of the misconduct allegations but failed to take action. USC and Tyndall have both denied any wrongdoing. The university recently reached a $215 million settlement in a federal class-action lawsuit over the Tyndall allegations. Hundreds more cases in state court are still pending.
Plaintiffs in those cases allege the university paid Tyndall a substantial financial settlement in exchange for his resignation.
The uproar over the Tyndall allegations, on the heels of other misconduct cases involving different campus doctors, ultimately led USC President C.L. Max Nikias to step down.
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