A Columbia University gynecologist who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing patients was allowed to avoid jail time because of campaign donations made to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr., four female accusers have alleged. Robert Hadden was sentenced in March 2016 for one felony count of a criminal sex act and one count of forcible touching, though he managed to avoid prison time after pleading guilty. Four of his accusers now say he was spared prison because his defense lawyer, Isabelle Kirshner, made hefty campaign contributions to Vance over the years. “In hindsight it makes so much sense,” one of Hadden’s accusers told the New York Daily News. According to a CBS News report published this weekend, Kirshner and her firm, Clayman & Rosenberg, donated $42,000 to Vance since 2008. Kirshner reportedly donated $250 to Vance on the same day she filed a motion in court opposing a plan by prosecutors to use evidence against Hadden that fell outside the statute of limitations. Kirshner also reportedly donated $1,000 to Vance two months after Hadden’s sentencing. News of the donations to Vance comes as he faces scrutiny for his decision not to pursue sexual-abuse charges against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein despite strong evidence.
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