A late Manhattan pediatrician molested an untold number of young patients over the course of decades, an investigation into his conduct has concluded.
Dr. Reginald Archibald, who died in 2007, worked at Manhattan’s Rockefeller University Hospital as an endocrinologist specializing in child growth from 1948 to 1982.
After being inundated with complaints from former patients — many now elderly or deceased — the hospital commissioned the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton to probe the mountain of allegations against their former employee.
The report, released Thursday, confirmed the doctor’s decades-long reign of predatory abuse.
“It is clear that Archibald, taking advantage of his position as a trusted and respected physician and researcher, engaged in a widespread pattern of misconduct and sexually abused many children at the Hospital over the course of many years when offering patients medical care and treatment,” the report found.
In addition to photographing countless children naked, Archibald also masturbated patients under the pretext of drawing semen samples for research purposes, according to the report. He routinely fondled children he examined and would even brush his face against their genitals.
“Much of Archibald’s behavior must be seen as motivated by improper sexual interests,” the report said.
Attorney Jennifer Freeman, who is representing 150 of his accusers, has called Archibald — who gathered patients from his position as “pool doctor” at the Madison Square Boys Club — “the most prolific pedophile in U.S. history.”
Suspicions about his activities stretched all the way back to 1960, the report found.
But due in part to his sterling reputation and the sensitive nature of his field, none of the accusations stuck, according to the probe.
Finally, under mounting accusations and pressure, Rockefeller commissioned an investigation in 2018 that included interviews with more than 1,000 former patients and colleagues.
Many of Archibald’s victims expressed concerns that their exploitative photographs might still be in existence or even digitized.
But the report suggested that Archibald likely destroyed the images in his possession.
The probe noted that Archibald saw many patients who reported no misconduct — but that more urgency still could have been shown in vetting his behavior.
“With the benefit of hindsight, however, and viewed in light of today’s greater knowledge of sexual abuse and current standards of appropriate practices and procedures for studies and treatment of children, there were warning signs that could have been seen, appreciated or further pursued earlier,” the report states.
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