LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The jury on Thursday found former UCLA campus gynecologist James Heaps guilty of five sexual counts while acquitting him of seven counts.
Heaps was on trial for 21 sex-related cases involving seven patients. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the remaining nine counts, and a mistrial was declared on those counts.
After the verdicts were announced, Heaps was taken into custody against the objection of his defense attorney, who wanted him released on bail.
Sentencing is set for November 17, and a prosecutor said the guilty verdicts could carry up to 21 years in state prison.
Heaps, 65, was tried between 2009 and 2018 for sexual harassment by fraud and penetration of an unconscious person by fraudulent depiction, as well as sexual exploitation of a patient in connection with alleged crimes.
The charges he was found guilty of were three counts of sexual harassment by fraud and two counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person.
The crimes allegedly happened while Heaps was working as a UCLA gynecologist.
More than 500 lawsuits have been filed against Heaps and UCLA, accusing the school of failing to protect patients after becoming aware of the wrongdoing.
In May, attorneys for 312 former Heaps patients announced a $374 million settlement in abuse claims against the University of California.
The settlement comes in addition to a $243.6 million settlement of lawsuits involving about 200 patients announced in February and a $73 million settlement of federal lawsuits reached last year and in which approximately 5,500 plaintiffs were involved.
The lawsuits alleged that UCLA actively and intentionally concealed Heaps’ sexual abuse of patients. UCLA continued to allow Heaps unhindered sexual access to female patients — many of whom were cancer patients — at the university, attorneys for the plaintiffs in the lawsuits alleged.
UCLA issued a statement in May, saying, “This agreement, combined with previous settlements involving other plaintiffs, resolves the vast majority of allegations alleging sexual misconduct by James Heaps, a former UCLA medical doctor, accuse.
“The behavior allegedly committed by Heaps is reprehensible and contrary to our values. We are grateful to all who have come forward and hope this settlement is a step towards some healing for the plaintiffs affected.
“We strive to provide the highest quality of care that respects the dignity of each patient. We are taking all necessary steps to ensure the well-being of our patients and to maintain public confidence,” the statement continued.
The City News Service contributed to this report.
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https://abc7.com/james-heaps-former-ucla-gynecologist-sexual-abuse-trial-verdicts-reached/12352356/ Former UCLA gynecologist James Heaps was found guilty of five sexual charges and acquitted of seven others