NATIONAL NEWS

Judge says ex-UCLA gynecologist can be retried on charges of sexually abusing female patients

Nov 3, 2023, 5:28 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former gynecologist at the University of California, Los Angeles who was sentenced to prison for sexually abusing student patients can be retried on charges involving additional women, a judge ruled Friday.

A Superior Court judge granted a prosecution request to retry Dr. James Heaps on nine charges after a jury deadlocked on the counts last fall.

No date for Heaps’ retrial was set.

Heaps, 67, was sentenced in April to an 11-year prison sentence.

He was convicted last October of five counts of sexually abusing two female patients. Los Angeles jurors found him not guilty on seven other counts and deadlocked on remaining charges involving four women.

Heaps, a longtime UCLA campus gynecologist, was accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of patients during his 35-year career.

Amid a wave of sexual misconduct scandals coming to light that implicate campus doctors, he was arrested in 2019. UCLA later agreed to pay nearly $700 million in lawsuit settlements to hundreds of Heaps’ former patients — a record amount for a public university.

Women who brought the lawsuits said Heaps groped them, made suggestive comments or conducted unnecessarily invasive exams during his 35-year career. The lawsuits contended that the university ignored their complaints and deliberately concealed abuse that happened for decades during examinations at the UCLA student health center, the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center or in Heaps’ campus office.

Heaps continued to practice until his retirement in June 2018.

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Judge says ex-UCLA gynecologist can be retried on charges of sexually abusing female patients