NEW HAVEN — A Yale Medical School professor sexually assaulted five students at a research facility he operated on the island of St. Kitts, beginning in 1994, and Yale University’s policies and procedures failed to stop the abuse, according to an investigation commissioned by the university.
Dr. D. Eugene Redmond Jr., who retired in 2018 when he learned that he was being investigated, had been a member of Yale’s faculty since 1974. He claimed that he had shut down an internship program on the Caribbean island after three students complained of sexual misconduct and harassment in 1994, but again recruited students between 2001 and 2017, according to the report of the investigation, which was released Tuesday.
Yale President Peter Salovey ordered the investigation of Redmond on Jan. 28, hiring former U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly, now an attorney with Finn Dixon & Herling in Stamford, to lead it. According to the 54-page report, delivered to Salovey on Aug. 14, Daly’s team found at least 16 instances of sexual abuse or misconduct involving Redmond.
Based on our investigation, we have concluded that Redmond sexually assaulted five students in St. Kitts while he was a Yale professor. These assaults occurred on five separate occasions, when he initiated and engaged in nonconsensual sexual contact with each student,” the report states. “Each of these incidents occurred in a bedroom that Redmond required each student to share with him and after each of the students had been drinking with Redmond.”
The investigation also found Redmond had conducted three “purported medical exams of students that included inappropriate genital and/or rectal exams” and other acts “involving at least eight other undergraduates or recent graduates and one high school student in St. Kitts, New Haven, and other locations. Two of the assaults and two of the exams occurred in the early 1990s; the remaining three assaults and the third exam occurred between 2010 and 2017. Most of the other misconduct occurred after 2005,” the report states.
Daly’s report says that the victims included young males and one transgender adult and that their accounts were “highly credible.” It continued: “When interviewed, the students were candid and straightforward; they neither embellished facts nor appeared vindictive. There were no eye-witnesses to the assaults, and each of the students acknowledged that they were intoxicated at the time of the assaults. … The strongest corroboration for the assaults is the striking similarity between the students’ accounts of what happened, despite the fact that the incidents occurred years, and, in some cases, decades apart, and the students do not know one another or the nature of their individual accounts.”
In a statement issued Tuesday, Salovey said, “I am grateful to the survivors who bravely came forward to report the assault and misconduct to which they were subjected. The behaviors in question violate every expectation we have of our faculty and the trust our students, and society, place in educators. On behalf of Yale, I am deeply sorry Redmond’s behavior was not stopped once and for all when it was first reported.”
After the first complaints were filed in 1994, Yale Medical School conducted an investigation, but Daly’s report said “there were flaws in the investigation.”
“More concerning, however, was [Yale Medical School’s] failure to implement any meaningful monitoring mechanisms to ensure ongoing oversight of Redmond and student activity at the St. Kitts facility. Redmond’s false representations … that he had terminated the program created a false sense of confidence that his misconduct had stopped. In fact, at least by 2001, Redmond returned to recruiting students to work with him in St. Kitts, and required some of them to share a bedroom with him.”
The investigation found that 20 students worked with Redmond in St. Kitts between 2001 and 2017, three of whom he assaulted.
“Redmond failed to honor his representations to Yale after the 1994 complaints; breached a policy the St. Kitts facility put in place after the 1994 investigation, which required separate housing for students and faculty; and violated a Settlement Agreement he entered into with a student that required Redmond to eliminate the program, to cease all recruiting and supervision of students in St. Kitts, and to abide by the separate housing policy,” the investigation found.
“We found no evidence that any faculty, staff, or administrators at Yale had actual knowledge of Redmond’s sexual misconduct before it was reported,” the report states. “Nevertheless, it is equally clear that if Yale had implemented a longstanding monitoring program after the 1994 investigation, Redmond’s ongoing misconduct might well have been detected and stopped. In addition, at various points after 1994, several members of the Yale community had concerns about Redmond’s [three] subsequent interactions with certain students, which, if they had pursued, might have prompted Yale to further scrutinize Redmond’s conduct and potentially uncover his misconduct.”
Salovey ordered the investigation after an undergraduate filed a formal complaint against Redmond in March 2018. Only then, Daly wrote, did Yale administrators learn of the 1994 complaints. Redmond then retired on July 27, 2018, and refused to cooperate with the investigation, denying any responsibility. Another male undergraduate filed a complaint in January 2019.
New Haven and Yale police also informed St. Kitts police about Redmond’s alleged misconduct. Inappropriate conduct also took place in Redmond’s home in New Haven, on Yale’s campus and other off-campus locations, according to the report.
Daly’s investigation involved interviews with 110 witnesses, including 38 current or former students: 28 from Yale, nine from other universities, and one high school student who interned in St. Kitts. The team also interviewed 13 family, friends, psychiatrists and psychologists who knew Redmond; “6 current or former Yale professors; 28 current or former Yale administrators; 12 of Redmond’s business associates, including employees of the St. Kitts facility; and 11 researchers who worked with Redmond, some of whom are current or former Yale employees.”
The investigators also consulted two medical experts about the physical exams Redmond performed and Yale’s Title IX Office about Yale’s sexual harassment policies and “remedial measures being put in place at Yale.”
Daly’s team looked at 1,450 documents, but found that more than 800 emails in Redmond’s inbox apparently had been deleted. Redmond could not be reached for comment on this story.
‘Reprehensible and antithetical’
In his statement, Salovey said, “Redmond’s actions, reported by the survivors who came forward, are reprehensible and antithetical to the educational mission of our university. I state again in the strongest possible terms that sexual misconduct and sexual assault have no place in this university.
“I am grateful to Ms. Daly, whose excellent recommendations I am studying and will act upon. We will build on years of our community’s efforts to prevent and address sexual misconduct. I have already taken steps to prevent such incidents from happening in the future,” Salovey said.
Among the steps Yale has taken based on the investigation, “the university has implemented new protocols for the maintenance and review of faculty disciplinary records so that relevant administrators can easily access a complete picture of any prior misconduct,” according to a press release.
The university also will institute a “formal monitoring plan” to ensure that discipline is enforced even when there is turnover among administrators, and will add oversight to any internship or other overnight programs connected to the university.
In 1982, Redmond launched the nonprofit St. Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation, where he studied vervet monkeys, which are common on the island. “Some current or former co-investigators at Yale and other institutions confirmed that Redmond’s study of vervet monkeys exposed to MPTP, a drug which induces Parkinsonian features, contributed to the development of a model that was the ‘gold standard’ for Parkinson’s disease research in the 1980s and 1990s,” the report states.
He also had experimented with transplanting fetal tissue into patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease as well as working with genes and stem cells in monkeys with induced Parkinson’s.
Earlier in his career, Redmond had received a patent for clonidine, used as a treatment for opiate withdrawal.
Parties at Redmond’s home
Starting in 1976, Redmond was a fellow at Morse College and since 1998 had advised more than 70 Morse students. He also gave frequent parties at his house and at the Axion Research Foundation, a nonprofit he founded, both of which are near Yale’s campus. Axion paid students who interned in St. Kitts a stipend.
“Witnesses who attended the parties were encouraged to bring friends, and alcohol was served, including to underage students,” the report states. “Witnesses reported that the attendees were overwhelmingly male, and often young, attractive, and athletic. Through these parties, Redmond cultivated a circle of young, male acquaintances.
He also invited several young men from St. Kitts to come to the United States and at least six attended Yale, Southern Connecticut State University or Quinnipiac University, “and at various times, lived at Redmond’s house rent-free while they were in school. In addition, Redmond adopted a young Kittitian man who later graduated from a U.S. university and became a successful doctor,” the report states.
None of the St. Kitts students reported any sexual misconduct, according to the report.
Both Axion and the St. Kitts facility were co-founded by Redmond and a Yale professor identified only as Professor 1 in Daly’s report.
The report states that “Professor 1 has closely collaborated with Redmond for over 35 years, been a member of the Axion and SKBRF boards since their inception, and became the acting president of Axion when Redmond stepped down from that position.” Professor 1 signed a settlement agreement after the 1994 investigation on behalf of Axion, according to the report.
Daly wrote, “We find Professor 1’s conduct to be particularly concerning because: (1) he did not confront, or seek further information from, Redmond about the 1994 complaints; and (2) he failed to enforce the Settlement Agreement and the SKBRF housing policy.”
The professor, who was accompanied by an attorney during his interviews with investigators, told them “he did not recall discussing the 1994 investigation with Redmond at the time or being interviewed by the Committee. The summary of his 1994 interview does not discuss his knowledge of, or reaction to, the sexual molestation charge except to say that Professor 1 ‘heard indirectly, not from … Redmond, that a student had claimed that … Redmond had sexually harassed him.’
“Professor 1 told us that a Committee member informed him that a complaint of sexual harassment was made, but he did not know the details. He recalled seeing a picture of Redmond with his arm around a female intern, which he thought was innocuous. He also acknowledged that at some point he had heard that Redmond shared a bedroom with students. While Professor 1 thought this was ‘a bad idea,’ he never discussed it with Redmond,” the report states.
He admitted to investigators that he didn’t know whether a new housing policy had been implemented in St. Kitts.
Redmond’s attempts to interfere
According to Daly’s report, Redmond not only denied the accusations, he refused to cooperate with the investigation unless he was given the names of his accusers and copies of the notes from interviews with them.
He also “attempted to obstruct our investigation by encouraging students and those connected to SKBRF not to cooperate with the investigation. He strongly discouraged some from speaking to us, and directed others to provide us false information and to withhold relevant information,” the report states. He falsely claimed that he stopped running an internship program in 1995 and told managers in St. Kitts not to provide names of interns, it says.
Daly’s report recommends that Yale create “an implementation and monitoring plan” when there is a “substantiated sexual misconduct complaint against faculty or staff,” overseen by someone who has oversight for the accused, such as a deputy dean or department chairman, and that that person report regularly to Yale’s Title IX Office.
The report also calls for “bystander intervention training … to reinforce the bystander’s responsibility to be vigilant and to intervene, when appropriate.” It also said Yale should review its policies to see what information can be shared with a future employer about accusations against someone leaving Yale for another job. And it recommended that discipline be considered for Professor 1 for possibly violating Faculty Standards of Conduct.