Dr. James Mason Heaps, 62, is an obstetrician-gynecologist who labored part-time at UCLA’s well being heart from 1983 – 2010 and is accused of sexually abusing his sufferers. Dr. Heaps has been charged with two counts of sexual battery by fraud and one depend of sexual exploitation following allegations from two of his former sufferers.
Each sufferers allege that Dr. Heaps inappropriately touched them throughout routine exams. One among his accusers claims Heaps touched her buttocks whereas he was inspecting her decrease again and touched her breasts in 2017. Two different girls filed comparable complaints about Dr. Heaps in 2014 and 2015.
UCLA Well being purchased Dr. James Mason Heaps personal follow in 2010 and the physician earned a $1.045 million wage from the college in 2017. He turned himself in Monday and was launched by the Los Angeles district lawyer on bail. UCLA is at the moment conducting an impartial evaluation of the way it responds to sexual misconduct claims in medical settings.
Right here’s what it’s essential to know:
1. He Retired in 2018 When UCLA Tried to Hearth Him
UCLA investigated the sexual misconduct allegations in 2017 and located that comparable complaints had been made in 2014 and 2015 however by no means adopted up on. UCLA investigated and decided that Dr. Heaps had violated their code of conduct. In April 2018, they instructed Dr. Heaps that he wouldn’t be reappointed then positioned him on go away and introduced his retirement later within the month.
The medical board was by no means notified of his actions and UCLA didn’t publicize the rationale behind him not being reappointed.
2. Dr. James Mason Heaps has Maintained his Innocence
Dr. Heaps has not commented publicly on the matter however his lawyer, Tracy Inexperienced, has said he isn’t responsible and that the touching in every case was medically needed. “Every part was carried out for a medical motive,” Inexperienced stated. “These are baseless allegations. He’s a revered, gifted and thorough gynecological oncologist who at all times sought to deal with his sufferers with dignity and respect.”
Inexperienced additionally went on to make clear that the allegations contain two girls that weren’t UCLA college students however went to his clinic in 2017 and 2018.
3. UCLA is Dealing with Scrutiny for not Reporting His Crimes
In keeping with the Los Angeles Instances, “UCLA launched an inside investigation after receiving a affected person criticism in December 2017 of inappropriate and medically pointless touching and feedback.” The investigation discovered that two different girls had made comparable complaints about Dr. Heaps in 2014 and 2015.
The college instructed Heaps in April 2018 that he wouldn’t be reappointed however didn’t report his conduct to the medical board till June 2018. They then filed a second report in March 2019.
The victims are upset over how the investigation was dealt with and that Heaps was given bail. Lawyer Darren Kavinoky represents one of many victims and instructed the LA Instances “On behalf of our shoppers, it feels offensive frankly, and it’s like revictimizing the victims,” Kavinoky stated. “We want we might have been heard on that time.”
4. His Case Is Being Investigated by Regulation Agency Hagens Berman
Regulation Agency Hagens Berman is investigating UCLA for the way it dealt with the accusations and subsequent investigation into Dr. Heaps alleged sexual misconduct. The regulation agency dealt with the eerily comparable excessive profile case of Gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall at USC. Tyndall was accused of sexual misconduct by tons of of sufferers and USC agreed to pay $215 million to 500 sufferers with the intention to settle a category motion lawsuit.
“These claims towards UCLA are nothing in need of alarming, and but the college waited years earlier than it started its investigation into complaints it acquired way back to 2014,” stated Steve Berman, managing companion of Hagens Berman, “We intend to completely examine UCLA for its dealing with of this gross sexual misconduct, and we count on that an increasing number of sufferers will step ahead, as was the case with USC and Dr. George Tyndall. There’s energy in numbers.”
5. He Obtained Constructive Evaluations from Most of His Former Sufferers
James Mason Heaps acquired largely good evaluations on a number of web sites for his efficiency as a physician. In keeping with well being.usnews.com, Dr. Heaps acquired 28 complete evaluations and is rated as “very optimistic” general. He was rated “wonderful” by sufferers for the “thoroughness of his examination”. He’s rated Four out of 5 stars on Yelp and most of the 1-star evaluations are coming from individuals who noticed his identify within the information.
WebMD, Healthgrades.com, and Vitals.com have customers ranking Dr. Heaps between 4.4-5 out of 5 stars.