Former UCLA Gynecologist Convicted of Sexual Assault


Former UCLA obstetrician-gynecologist, Dr. James Mason Heaps, was convicted of five counts of sexual assault on his patients.

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón announced Heaps, 65, was found guilty of three counts of sexual battery by fraud and two counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person.

“The trauma Dr. Heaps inflicted on the very people he had sworn to care for is immeasurable.” Gascón said. “I am committed to helping all victims of sexual assault – whether they were victimized by a doctor, school personnel or a Hollywood elite – and encourage them to contact my office’s Bureau of Victim Services if they are in need of services.”

Heaps was indicted on 21 total counts, being acquitted of seven and the jury hung on another nine.

Of the acquitted counts three were for sexual battery by fraud, three for sexual penetration of an unconscious person and one for sexual exploitation of a patient.

The nine counts where the jury was hung also related to sexual battery by fraud, sexual penetration of an unconscious person and sexual exploitation of a patient. A mistrial was also declared on the hung counts.

“While we respect the jurors’ decisions on the acquitted counts, we are obviously disappointed,” Gascón said. “I know how challenging such trials can be for all involved and the personal sacrifices that are made so that justice is served.”

For more than 30 years, Heaps served as an oncologist-gynecologist for UCLA, with the lawsuit alleging the school concealed and did not address allegation of Heaps’ sexual abuse.

“The conduct alleged to have been committed by Heaps is reprehensible and contrary to our values. We are grateful to all those who came forward, and hope this settlement is one step toward providing some level of healing for the plaintiffs involved,” UCLA said in a statement earlier this year. “We are dedicated to providing the highest quality care that respects the dignity of every patient. We are taking all necessary steps to ensure our patients’ well-being in order to maintain the public’s confidence and trust,” the statement continued.”

The doctor will be sentenced on November 17 at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles, with Heaps facing up to 20 years in state prison.

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