His former patients remembered him as avuncular and authoritative, with white hair as he grew older. They also remembered his strange methods. Their allegations suggest a pattern of sexual abuse from the 1950s through the 1970s among patients as young as 6 and as old as 17.
Michael Manfre, now 57, recalled Dr. Archibald asking him to masturbate when he was about 12 years old and then doing it himself. “Keep trying,” Mr. Manfre, of Massapequa, N.Y., remembered Dr. Archibald saying, encouraging him to ejaculate.
Mr. Harris, who now lives in Port Washington, N.Y., said that during a visit in the 1970s, the doctor massaged the area between his testes and anus, asking if it felt good.
Many of Dr. Archibald’s patients were short for their age, and their parents worried about the teasing and shame they might experience in school if they hit puberty years behind their peers.
Dr. Archibald was known as a growth specialist who administered hormones, such as testosterone, which he hypothesized could help spur puberty and increase the height children would reach. To better understand children’s growth and create a control group, he often had siblings come to the clinic, former patients said.
Taking measurements of boys’ genitals when doctors were concerned about delayed puberty was considered normal until the 1980s or 1990s, said Dr. Howard Markel, a professor of medical history at the University of Michigan. But doing so when they were erect, asking them to masturbate, particularly while the doctor was present, was not considered acceptable, even at that time, he said.
Nearly every victim remembered having to strip naked, stand against a wall and hold their palms out facing forward while Dr. Archibald took photographs. One patient provided a copy of a release signed by that person’s mother giving Rockefeller permission to photograph her child “for the advancement of medical science.”