Former UCLA gynecologist charged with sexual battery

The allegations against the doctor stem from two patients he provided care to in 2017 and 2018 at UCLA Health.
Image: UCLA Campus
Students walk on the University of California, Los Angeles campus on Feb. 26, 2015.Damian Dovarganes / AP file

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By Doha Madani

A former doctor who worked at the University of California Los Angeles was charged with sexual battery in connection with his medical practice, the school said.

Dr. James Heaps, an obstetrician-gynecologist who worked part-time at UCLA Health since 1983, turned himself in to authorities Monday, the university's chancellor and vice chancellor said in a statement.

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A warrant for two counts of sexual battery and one count of sexual exploitation of a patient was filed on May 22 stemming from two incidents, one in June 2017 and another in February 2018, a spokesman from the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office told NBC News. Heaps is still in custody and it was unclear if he had any legal representation who could comment on his case.

The allegations stem from two patients he provided care to at UCLA Health, according to the school.

Heaps, who previously held medical staff privileges at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, was terminated last year after the school learned of the allegations against him. The university also reported Heaps to the Medical Board of California and law enforcement.

UCLA launched an independent review in March of the university's response to sexual misconduct in clinical settings.

"The review is examining UCLA’s response to such conduct and whether our policies and procedures to prevent, identify and address sexual misconduct are consistent with best practices and reflect the high standard of patient care we demand of ourselves," UCLA's statement said.

Heaps is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment next Monday.