Former UCLA Gynecologist at Student Health Center Charged With Sexual Battery

A obstetrician-gynecologist formerly employed by UCLA has been charged with sexual battery in connection with his medical practice and surrendered to law enforcement Monday, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and Vice Chancellor John Mazziotta said in a statement released by the school.

The charges relate to care Dr. James Heaps provided to two patients in 2017 and 2018 at UCLA Health, the schools said.

Heaps worked on a part-time basis at UCLA's student health center from around 1983 to 2010, UCLA said, before being hired by UCLA Health in 2014. Heaps also held medical staff privileges at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center from 1988 to 2018, according to UCLA.

"Sexual abuse in any form is unacceptable and represents an inexcusable breach of the physician-patient relationship," the chancellor and vice-chancellor said in a joint-statement. "We are deeply sorry that a former UCLA physician violated our policies and standards, our trust and the trust of his patients."

The UCLA administrators said that the school initiated an independent review of the institution's response to sexual misconduct in clinical settings in March, 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."

In 2018, George Tyndall, a former gynecologist at USC's student health center, was accused of misconduct by female patients in his care from 1989 to 2016. In February, USC announced a $215 million settlement with victims who said they were abused by Tyndall.

Hundreds of student and alumni accused the USC doctor of committing sexual or inappropriate conduct during physical exams. Tyndall has denied the allegations.

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