Disgraced American gynecologist, James Heaps sentenced to 11 years for sexually abusing patients
This week, a disgraced University of Los Angeles gynecologist in California was sentenced to over ten years behind bars for sexually abusing his patients.
Dr. James Heaps, 66 — who was convicted last year of three counts of sexual battery by fraud and two counts of sexual penetration of two patients was ordered Wednesday April 26 to serve 11 years in prison, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Following his release, Heaps will also be required to register as a sex offender, the outlet said.
Heaps, a former member of the highest-paid UCLA hospital employees, was arrested in 2019. This was based on complaints from patients who claimed that Heaps groped, made lewd remarks, and performed unnecessary invasive exams.
It was also found that complaints about Heaps’ behavior previously went unaddressed until late 2017 when a formal investigation was initiated by the university’s Title IX office, the newspaper reported.
Heaps, who has treated over 6,000 patients in his career, was allowed to practice until June 2018 when UCLA refused to renew his contract. The police were informed of the allegations.
After his arrest in 2019, Heaps was charged with 21 felonies involving the sexual assaults of seven women between 2009 and 2018. The jury ultimately found him not guilty of seven of the counts.
Hundreds of his victims also sued UCLA for allegedly ignoring their complaints and stifling rumors of Heaps’ abuse at the student health center, the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and his campus office.
The university ultimately paid nearly $700 million to over 300 victims.
Heaps appeared in court Wednesday in an orange jumpsuit. He did not address the court after his sentence was read.
“Today we finally have a reason to smile. I hope that the settlement by UCLA and today’s sentencing will encourage any victims of sexual assault to come forward,” one of the plaintiffs, Ellen Carter, told the LA Times after the proceedings.
“Now the healing can begin.”