For 27 years, Dr. James Heaps was trusted to treat UCLA students as an obstetrician-gynecologist.
Now, he’s charged with sexual battery for incidents that happened at the university, officials said.
The doctor surrendered Monday to law enforcement, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and Vice Chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences John Mazziotta said in a joint statement.
“We understand that these charges relate to care he provided to two patients in 2017 and 2018 at UCLA Health,” the UCLA statement said.
CNN has reached out to Heaps’ attorney for comment.
In response to allegations against Heaps, UCLA investigated his conduct, removed him from clinical practice, told him he’d be fired and reported him to the state medical board and law enforcement, the statement said. Heaps then announced he’d retire.
University officials did not say how the cases came to light or provide details of the accusations.
“Dr. Heaps was an obstetrician-gynecologist who worked on a part-time basis at the UCLA student health center from approximately 1983 to 2010, was hired by UCLA Health in 2014 and held medical staff privileges at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center from 1988 to 2018,” the UCLA statement said.
UCLA said it is trying prevent crimes like those alleged from happening again.
“We are deeply sorry that a former UCLA physician violated our policies and standards, our trust and the trust of his patients,” the chancellor and vice chancellor wrote.
“Because we know we can and must do better, in March, we initiated an independent review of our institution’s response to sexual misconduct in clinical settings. The review is 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.”
Other campus doctors accused of sex crimes
The UCLA case is latest example of university doctors accused of sex crimes against patients.
— Dr. George Tyndall, a former gynecologist at the University of Southern California, was accused of sexual abuse at the school’s student health center.
More than 100 women have accused Tyndall of sexual misconduct. He was the only full-time gynecologist at the school’s Student Health Clinic for 30 years.
Tyndall was fired by USC in 2017 for inappropriate behavior. University officials said the school reached a settlement with Tyndall but did not report him at the time to law enforcement or state medical authorities.
— Dr. Richard Strauss was accused by 37 former Ohio State University students of sexual abuse.
Strauss died by suicide in 2005. The students sued the university last month, saying Strauss sexually assaulted and abused hundreds of male students, and “OSU officials aided, abetted, and actively concealed Strauss’ sexual predation” of students.
An OSU spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit shortly after it was filed.
— Dr. Larry Nassar, a former doctor for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, was sentenced last year to 40 to 175 years in prison after more than 150 women and girls said he sexually abused them over a decade.
Michigan State University violated federal law for years by failing to report crime statistics, including a series of sexual assaults committed by Nassar, a preliminary report by the US Department of Education found.
MSU said it was cooperating with the Education Department.
“The Nassar crimes caused so much pain to so many people, and we have more work to do to address those issues and support the survivors and our community,” an MSU official said.