Dr. James Heaps Was Found Guilty Of Sexually Abusing 5 Of His Patients

Dr. James Heaps

According to the Los Angeles Times, charges against James Heaps first appeared in 2014, when the state medical board investigated him for a similar complaint. Another complaint was made with UCLA in 2017, and the institution reported his retirement in June 2018. Following the 2017 allegation, the institution was chastised for allowing Heaps to visit patients for almost six months.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office accused the 65-year-old former gynecologist of physically abusing two former patients on May 22, 2019. According to NBC, when multiple former patients started to make complaints against Heaps, the institution agreed to pay over $700 million in litigation settlements to the alleged victims.

UCLA has been singled out in the James Heaps case.

According to NPR, James Heaps would utilize his position as a doctor and gynecologist to engage in improper behavior with his patients. In an official statement, John Manly, an attorney representing many of Heaps’ alleged victims, said that many of the women the former doctor allegedly molested were cancer patients.

Manly stated:

“The heinous abuse he inflicted on cancer patients and those who trusted him as their doctor has been revealed, and justice has been served.”

Dr. James Heaps

Heaps’ defense counsel, Lenny Levine, maintained that the doctor was making what looked to be personal contact with patients because of the nature of his employment.

Levine stated:

“He’s either a doctor doing his job or a lunatic monster out there.”

Despite the multiple complaints, James Heaps pleaded not guilty to 21 felony abuse-related counts, according to NBC. A California jury convicted him guilty on three counts while finding him not guilty on seven others. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon addressed the charges against Heaps in an official statement. He mentioned how the jury was deadlocked on an additional nine counts, resulting in a mistrial.

Gascon stated:

“The agony created by Dr. Heaps on the very individuals he swore to care for is incalculable.” While we accept the verdicts of the jury on the acquitted charges, we are certainly unhappy.”

Dr. James Heaps

UCLA issued an official statement in response to the decision against James Heaps.

According to the statement:

“UCLA Health appreciates the patients who come forward.” Sexual misbehavior of any type is abhorrent and unforgivable. Our first objective is to provide the best possible treatment while making patients feel secure, protected, and appreciated.”

Heaps will be sentenced on November 17, 2022.