Hundreds of women have accused gynecologist James Heaps of abuse, accusing UCLA of covering up his actions and failing to take action against him despite reports. “The behavior attributed to Heaps is reprehensible and goes against the values of the university,” said a statement from the university, which “also admires the courage of the women who have come forward.”
The settlement adds to a previous lawsuit filed by 5,000 patients that resulted in $73 million in damages. Another 300 women filed civil charges against Heaps, who also faces criminal charges for abusing 7 women.
An investigation was launched by the university in late 2017 after allegations, although the first complaints had been filed years before. Despite the investigation, Heaps was able to continue seeing patients. He was fired in June 2018, a year later he was arrested and charged. After that, more women came with accusations.
In March 2021, another California university, the University of Southern California (USC), bought out abuse victims for a total of more than $1.1 billion. It also involved a gynecologist named George Tyndall. He was arrested in July 2019 on suspicion of sexually abusing women during medical examinations. He had treated 17,000 women over the years and allegedly touched female patients inappropriately, took photos of their genitals and made suggestive comments about their bodies.
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