A former patient of Dr. James Heaps, the longtime UCLA gynecologist who has been accused by more than 50 women of sexual assault, spoke publicly for the first time today. Heaps is currently facing criminal charges related to just two of those accusations.
The woman, whose name is Julie, is part of a group of 40 former patients who have filed lawsuits against the doctor, accusing him of sexual assault and battery. At a press conference following Heaps’s criminal hearing in the Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday morning, Julie and her two lawyers asked the district attorney’s office to consider bringing additional criminal charges against the doctor, as more women continue to step forward with accusations. She also demanded that UCLA—which paid out more than $3.5 million in settlements related to the doctor’s behavior prior to his retirement in June—be held accountable.
“While it is not easy for me to come forward and publicly face my abuser, it is past time for UCLA and Heaps to be held accountable for the abuse that I, and so many other women like me, allege that they endured for years,” said Julie. “Heaps has never even seen the inside of a prison cell and not a single person at UCLA has been fired or faced any consequences for allowing and concealing an alleged sexual predator. I urge the District Attorney to prioritize and prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law to send a loud and clear message to all predators and institutions that their time is up. Sexual assault will not be tolerated, and you will be held accountable.”
Due to discovery issues, Heaps’ preliminary criminal hearing has been pushed back—the date is expected to be set at another hearing on December 5th, and the trial will likely begin in early 2020. Heaps’ attorneys told KTLA that they maintain his innocence, and that they await their day in court.
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