In The LA Sex Abuse Case, An Ex-UCLA Gynecologist Was Found Guilty.

Gynecologist

A former gynecologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, was found guilty on Thursday of five counts of sexually assaulting female patients. The conviction resulted from a criminal investigation launched after the university system paid over $700 million in lawsuit settlements.

The Incident

Dr. James Heaps, a longtime gynecologist at UCLA, was acquitted on seven of the 21 counts, while the jury in Los Angeles was split evenly on the remaining eight.

Following the physician’s arrest in 2019 and the accompanying scandal, UCLA decided to settle legal claims on behalf of hundreds of Heaps’ patients by paying close to $700 million. During a recent spate of sexual misconduct incidents involving campus doctors, this was a record amount for a public university.

Heaps, 65, had pleaded not guilty to 21 felony charges related to seven women’s sexual assaults from 2009 to 2018. He’s proclaimed his innocence.

Last year, Heaps was accused of multiple counts of the sexual battery via deceit, sexual exploitation of a patient, and sexual penetration of an unconscious person through false representation.

The jury returned guilty verdicts on three charges of sexual battery by deception and two counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person. He was found not guilty of about seven further counts of sexual battery and penetration, as well as one instance of sexual exploitation. The court declared a mistrial when the jury could not agree on the nine additional counts.

His sentence has been scheduled for November 17.

According to the district attorney’s office, the decision to retry the hung counts has not been made.

Dr. Heaps violated his vow to protect the people by doing irreparable harm to them. Los Angeles County’s district attorney, George Gascón, released a statement. “We regret it but respect the jury’s decision on the acquitted counts.”

Heaps’ lawyer did not promptly respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Following the decision, attorney John Manly, who represented more than 200 women in civil cases against Heaps and UCLA, declared that “justice was served” and that Heaps’ horrendous exploitation of cancer patients and other individuals who relied on him as their doctor had been made public.

According to the district attorney’s office, the decision to retry the hung counts has not been made.

Due to sexual misbehavior by doctors on college campuses, The Ohio State University, Johns Hopkins University, and Columbia University have achieved large settlements.

The settlements negotiated by UCLA exceed the $500 million deal reached by Michigan State University in 2018, considered the largest by a public university. The long-standing gynecologist at the private institution USC has agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle hundreds of claims against him; he is still awaiting trial in Los Angeles.

Patients at UCLA claimed that throughout his 35 years there, Heaps touched them inappropriately, said sexually suggestive things, or conducted unneeded, intrusive exams. The women who brought the cases said that UCLA deliberately concealed abuse that had taken place for years during examinations at Heaps’ campus office, the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, or the UCLA Student Health Center while ignoring their concerns.

UCLA

In Los Angeles, California, a public land-grant research institution is called the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The academic foundations of UCLA date back to 1881, when it was founded as a teacher’s college under the name of the southern branch of the California State Normal School (now San José State University). The second-oldest institution in the ten-campus University of California system, this institution was officially incorporated into UCLA in 1919 as the Southern Branch of the University of California.

Conclusion

According to attorneys, UCLA confirmed receiving a report of sexual abuse against Heaps from a patient in December 2017. The university then initiated an inquiry the following month, which found that Heaps had been sexually assaulted and harassed.

But Heaps kept working up until his retirement in June 2018. After Heaps was taken into custody, the institution didn’t make its investigational findings public until November 2019 – several months later.

After the verdict, the university issued a statement expressing gratitude to the patients who had come forward. Sexual misbehavior is vile and repulsive in all forms. Our top priority is giving patients the best possible care while ensuring they feel comfortable, appreciated, and protected.

 

Gloria Flynt

I am a Research Content Specialist in Update.co.ke. I have been working with update.co.ke for over 6 months. Update.co.ke is a digital platform that provides news and analysis on business, economy, technology and entrepreneurship in worldwide. I love reading and writing about anything that has to do with science, technology, and developments in the digital world.

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