Ex-UCLA Gynecologist Gets 11-Year Sentence for Patient Sexual Abuse

Wednesday’s sentence follows payments of nearly $700 million by UCLA to victims, a record amount by a public university.

Ex-UCLA Gynecologist Gets 11-Year Sentence for Patient Sexual Abuse

UPDATE APRIL 27, 2023: James Heaps, the former UCLA gynecologist who was convicted in October of multiple charges of sexual abuse of patients, was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Wednesday, reports ABC7.


Los Angeles, California – A jury found former University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) gynecologist Dr. James Heaps guilty on Thursday of five counts of sexually abusing his female patients.

Heaps, 65, had faced a total of 21 counts. He was found not guilty of seven of those counts, with the jury deadlocked on the remaining charges, reports the Associated Press. The judge in the case declared a mistrial for those counts where the jury was deadlocked.

According to the university, Heaps was employed by UCLA as an ob-gyn from 2014 to 2018. He also worked on a part-time basis at the UCLA student health center from approximately 1983 through June of 2010. He was indicted in 2019.

Heaps’ former patients said he groped them, conducted unnecessary exams, or made inappropriate comments.

Thursday’s verdict follows payments of nearly $700 million by UCLA to Heaps’ victims, a record amount paid by a public university.

UCLA is just one of several U.S. institutions of higher education that have faced lawsuits and allegations of improper handling of sexual misconduct cases involving doctors. Those other schools include Michigan StateOhio State and the University of Southern California.

Just last week, CS reported that Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian will pay more than $165 million to 147 women who say they were sexually abused by former gynecologist Robert Hadden.

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About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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2 responses to “Ex-UCLA Gynecologist Gets 11-Year Sentence for Patient Sexual Abuse”

  1. Martha Walters says:

    UCLA’s neighbor and competitor has the George Tyndall gynecologist accused of numerous sexual assault crimes but I have not seen much news on Tyndall’s last preliminary hearing. This news is important to cover.

  2. Amy Rock says:

    Hi Martha,

    Thank you for your comment. We completely agree it deserves coverage, and we have covered it over the years. If you search his name on our website, you will see the articles that discuss that case.

    As for preliminary hearings, we don’t usually cover those. It is the prosecutor trying to prove there is enough evidence to charge the defendent, and in our past articles, we have outlined the evidence/accuations that have been brought against him publicly.

    Once/if the case goes to trial, we will absolutely be covering that.

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