LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Prosecutors have brought 17 additional felony charges against a former UCLA gynecologist who was arrested last year on allegations he sexually assaulted his patients.
Dr. James Heaps, 63, was charged Monday with eight counts of sexual battery by fraud, two counts of sexual exploitation of a patient and seven counts of sexual penetration of a person unconscious of the nature of the act by fraudulent representation, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office reports.READ MORE: Woman Stabbed To Death At Senior Living Community In Baldwin Hills
Heaps is now accused of assaulting at least seven patients. He pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday. His bail was set at $650,000. It’s unclear if he is in custody.
Heaps was first charged in June of 2019 with sexually abusing two women he treated at UCLA in 2017 and 2018.READ MORE: One Of The World's Largest Homes Is About To Go Up For Sale In Bel Air
Heaps retired from UCLA Health in 2018 following an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and billing irregularities. Since his arrest, dozens more female patients have come forward citing similar allegations, and multiple lawsuits have been filed against him accusing him of misconduct date back as far as 1989.
Heaps worked at UCLA Health for nearly 30 years. According to the Los Angeles Times, the UC Board of Regents paid $2.25 million to a patient who claimed that Heaps sexually assaulted her during an appointment in early 2018. In March, UCLA paid $1.3 million to a nurse practitioner to settle a complaint that Heaps had sexually harassed her and retaliated against her for taking part in the sexual misconduct investigation against him, the Times reports.
Last December, attorneys representing more than 45 patients accused UCLA of dragging its feet on the investigation into Heaps and allowed him to continue to treat patients even after school officials found evidence he had committed sexual assault .MORE NEWS: Drone Drops Drugs Into Orange County Jail Courtyard
If convicted as charged, Heaps faces a maximum sentence of 67 years in state prison. His next court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 15.