WESTWOOD (CBSLA) — A former University of California Los Angeles physician surrendered to law enforcement Monday after being charged with sexual battery in connection to his medical practice, according to a release from the university.
Dr. James Heaps is facing two charges of sexual battery with fraud and one charge of sexual exploitation of a patient. He pleaded not guilty to all three charges.READ MORE: LA To Host 2022 Summit Of The Americas
According to the university, Heaps retired from UCLA last year after an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and billing irregularities. The allegations came from two women Heaps treated in 2017 and 2018.
Following the investigation, the university said it removed Heaps from clinical practice and reported him to the Medical Board of California and law enforcement.READ MORE: Suspect Identified As Shawn Laval Smith In Murder Of Brianna Kupfer, Hancock Park Furniture Store Employee Found Stabbed
“Sexual abuse in any form is unacceptable and represents an inexcusable breach of the physician-patient relationship,” a statement from the university said. “We are deeply sorry that a former UCLA physician violated our policies and standards, our trust and the trust of his patients.”
Earlier this year, the University of Southern California agreed to pay $215 million to settle a class action lawsuit against one of its former doctors, Dr. George Tyndall, accused of sexually abusing hundreds of student patients.
According to the university, Heaps worked with the school for nearly 30 years treating students and non-students.MORE NEWS: Orange County's COVID-19 Hospitalizations Remain Stable
The university is encouraging former patients who have concerns about care received by Heaps to contact a third-party patient assistance hotline at 888-961-9273.