WESTWOOD—Dr. James M. Heaps, 67, who was already being charged with multiple accusations of rape by his patients, will have an additional 17 charges added, which include sexual battery, exploitation and penetration, the LA District Attorney’s Office announced on Monday, August 3.
The former UCLA gynecologist was affiliated with the school for more than three decades, working part-time beginning in 1983 and starting his own private practice in 1990, which lasted more than 20 years. After getting hired by UCLA Health in 2014, he ended his private practice to work full-time for the university.
According to prosecutors, all of the victims suffered sexual assault at the hands of Heaps between 2011 and 2018.
It was not disclosed to the public up until a full year after his retirement that multiple complaints were made about the doctor’s behavior and treatment of patients. The first complaints were made in 2017, and he was put on leave of absence by the university without any explanation. The university later apologized for their lack of transparency regarding the matter.
Since his arrest in 2019, several more victims spoke out about the doctor’s actions, some filing lawsuits. Dr. Heaps has many supporters vouching for his credibility, whom were standing outside of the courtroom, which is something his lawyer made a point to emphasize.
According to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, if Heaps is convicted as charged, he could face 67 years in prison. He is expected back in court on September 15.