Sarah Warren and her family signed a $1.5 million settlement with the University of Southern California in 2018
The University of Southern California has ordered Sarah Warren and her family to turn over their devices and have them wiped of anything showing a former medical school dean taking drugs as part of a settlement “inappropriate” of 1.5 million dollars.
The family had threatened to sue the college over Carmen Puliafito’s relationship with Warren, who met the researcher as a prostitute in 2015.
Warren was part of a ‘circle of other young drug addicts and criminals’ who Puliafito did drugs with, sometimes even on campus, according to photos shared in a bombshell Los Angeles Times report from 2017.
Puliafito quit his $1.1million-a-year job in March 2016 after Warren overdosed in a hotel room with him in Pasadena three weeks earlier. At the time, he told police she was a friend of the family.
The ex-dean later avoided criminal charges for allegedly giving drugs to Warren’s underage brother Charles due to lack of evidence.
The $1.5 million settlement was finalized in January or February 2018, but the extremely strict terms of the settlement could violate California law, making it a crime to destroy or conceal material for prevent it from being used as evidence in a trial. , inquiry or inquiry authorized by law.
It’s unclear whether USC retained copies of the deleted material, but if it didn’t, it could risk inviting further legal scrutiny, LA Times reporter Paul Pringle said. revealed Thusday.
USC declined to answer questions from DailyMail.com.
Current university president Carol Fold declined to comment, with a spokeswoman telling the LA Times that the events happened “years” before she arrived. The college attorney at the time also declined to speak to the newspaper.
The settlement prevented the family from talking about it. Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Alan Jackson called the USC settlement “unseemly.”
“You’re basically taking the evidence away from the victims,” Jackson said.
An attorney for current USC President CL Max Nikias told the newspaper that Nikias knew nothing about the deletions.
“He has not seen the USC settlement agreement with the Warren family and has no knowledge of its specific contents,” attorney Stacy Harrison said.
Carmen A. Puliafito (seen in 2014) quit her $1.1million-a-year job in March 2016 after Sarah Warren overdosed in a hotel room with him in Pasadena three weeks earlier.
USC, a top school in Los Angeles, California, could be held responsible for destroying evidence after ordering Warren and his family to delete all photos, videos and texts of Puliafito
Nikias resigned in 2018 after criticism that school administrators ignored decades of complaints against campus gynecologist George Tyndall, who was then the subject of some twenty legal proceedings and a police investigation into allegations of sexual assault involving at least 50 women.
The lawsuits allege Tyndall routinely made rude comments, took inappropriate photos and forced the plaintiffs to strip and grope them under the guise of medical treatment.
Last year, state investigators closed an investigation into whether Puliafito supplied Dora Yoder with the methamphetamine that killed her newborn, which was passed to her baby through her breast milk.
The La Times had previously reviewed photos of Puliafito and Yoder with drugs and paraphernalia in the room, but Puliafito denied giving him the drugs.
As part of the settlement, Warren, his brother and his parents took their phones, computers and hard drives to a tech store to have them erased from photos and videos of Puliafito, some of which also showed him in sexual situations.
They also deleted emails, text messages and letters, according to two sources with knowledge of the deal who spoke to the LA Times.
Puliafito grew up in Buffalo, New York and went to Harvard Medical School. The ophthalmologist was named dean of USC’s Keck School of Medicine in December 2007, according to a Press release of the university at the time. He was one of the university’s top fundraisers, bringing in more than $1 billion in donations, according to his estimate.
Years later, he would bring his young friends to campus to party in his office.
“He was like, ‘They like me here. Medical students think I’m God,'” Warren told the LA Times in 2017.
The Medical Board of California suspended Puliafito’s medical license in August 2018.
Stanford Law School professor Robert Weisberg called it “somewhat tricky territory” the destruction of his footage if the medical board was not done with its investigation.
“A red flag appears,” Weisberg said. “It would have to be proven that a reasonable person would have been legitimately convinced that the medical board had everything.”
The years-old scandal tarnished USC’s reputation and ended Puliafito’s career.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Burnley declined to indict the former college official for allegedly supplying drugs to Warren’s younger brother, writing that “the current state of the case does not establish sufficient evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt”.
Burnley declined to speak to the LA Times about the latest revelations.