Former University of California Los Angeles gynecologist Dr. James Heap turned himself in on Monday, June 11 to face multiple sex crimes charges. Heaps is accused of sexually abusing two non-student patients during medical appointments.
He is charged with two counts of sexual battery with fraud and one count of sexual exploitation of a patient and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
UCLA says that Heaps retired last year following an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct and billing irregularities. Two women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct during medical treatment in 2017 and 2018.
The school says that after the investigation, Heaps was removed from clinical practice. The school then reported him to both law enforcement and the Medical Board of California.
Heaps worked at UCLA for almost three decades and treated both students and non-students.
Attorney contributor Bobby Thompson is a former sex crimes prosecutor who specializes in helping survivors find justice through civil lawsuits. The doctor sexual abuse lawyers have represented several clients in sexual assault lawsuits against doctors and healthcare facilities. If you’re a survivor of sexual assault by a doctor or another medical professional, here are some general thoughts on your options for legal recourse:
Sexual abuse has become a widespread problem in the medical community. In all 50 states, doctors and other healthcare professionals have been reported for exploiting the trust of their patients and committing traumatic acts of sexual assault and abuse. The victims of these heinous crimes deserve answers and support. The perpetrators and third parties who enable them must be held accountable.
In many cases, survivors of sexual abuse by medical professionals have the right to file a lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances of the case, both the abuser and the facility where the abuse occurred could be named. For example, if a hospital had received previous sexual misconduct complaints about a doctor but failed to act, that hospital could potentially be held liable in a sexual assault lawsuit.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse by a medical professional, you can learn more about your family’s legal options by speaking with an experienced sex abuse victims lawyer.