WOODLAND HILLS—The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office released on August 3 that an ongoing case involving a former UCLA obstetrician-gynecologist has acquired more sexual assault charges.
James Mason Heaps, 63, of the Woodland Hills area was originally arrested and charged with sexual battery by fraud and one count of sexual exploitation with two patients by the DA on June 11, 2019. He was a medical school faculty member at UCLA from 1989 to 2018 and employed as an OBGYN from 2014 through 2018.
The release states, “Today, case SA100560 was amended to include eight additional counts of sexual battery by fraud, two additional counts of sexual exploitation of a patient as well as seven counts of sexual penetration of a person unconscious of the nature of the act by fraudulent representation.”
The charges have now accumulated to a total of 20 felony counts.
According to Janet, Janet and Suggs Law who has been asking for patients to come forward with possible reports of sexual assault from Heaps, “The first complaint came in 2008 according to the Associated Press, but UCLA authorities did not respond. Dr. Heaps was allowed to continue to examine female gynecological patients despite a history of similar complaints of alleged misconduct and abuse. UCLA began investigating Heaps in December 2017.”
Heaps pleaded not guilty to the added charges on Monday and is scheduled to return on September 15 in Department W31 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.
Heaps is charged with sexual assaults dating back to 2011 and up to 2018, according to the criminal complaint. His bail is set at $650,000. If convicted as charged, the defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of more than 67 years in state prison.
During the investigation conducted by UCLA, they have reported:
“As of April 9, 2020, we have received approximately 500 contacts in response to this situation. 441 of these self-identified as patients of Dr. Heaps. Of these, 272 expressed support for Dr. Heaps, while 159 expressed concern about their interactions. Callers who alleged contact of an inappropriate nature are being contacted for follow-up interviews. We are assessing all communications based on the information provided.”
They ask that anyone who was a former patient of Dr. James Heaps and want to report improper behavior, or are in need of support services, to contact the patient assistance hotline at 888-961-9273.