NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors urged a judge Thursday to reject claims by a former New York doctor that his guilty plea in state court in a sex abuse case means he can’t be prosecuted in federal court on sex assault charges.
In papers in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors defended their charges against Robert A. Hadden, calling it an “absurd contention” to say they can’t prosecute because Hadden in 2016 pleaded guilty under a state plea deal, admitting to forcible touching and one count of a criminal sex act.
They urged rejection of defense arguments contending that federal prosecutors were a puppet of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
Hadden, 63, of Englewood, New Jersey, was arrested a year ago and has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing the former New York gynecologist of singling out young and unsuspecting victims for abuse, including a young girl he’d delivered at birth.
Prosecutors said they began their probe last year before obtaining an indictment charging Hadden with sexually abusing dozens of female patients from approximately 1993 to 2012 while trying to make the victims believe that the sexual abuse was appropriate and medically necessary.
The indictment said Hadden sexually abused patients, including multiple minors, at his medical offices and Manhattan hospitals while he worked as a medical doctor at Columbia University and at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
The indictment detailed what it described as the abuse of one minor female and five adult women who traveled from out of state to see Hadden.
Hadden remains free on $1 million bail.
A message seeking comment was sent to Hadden’s defense lawyers.