The Latest: UCLA did not report sexual assault post on Yelp

By | June 11, 2019

The Latest on a retired UCLA gynecologist who is charged with sexually abusing two patients (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

A spokeswoman for UCLA Health says medical system officials were aware of a 2015 Yelp posting alleging a sexual assault by a gynecologist but did not reach out to the victim or inform police.

A Los Angeles-area woman tells The Associated Press she posted about her alleged 2008 assault on Yelp after seeing positive reviews there about Dr. James Heaps, who has since been criminally charged in connect with two other sexual abuses. Heaps denies any wrongdoing.

Spokeswoman Rhonda Curry says UCLA Health referred other complaints to the state medical board, as well as federal authorities and the Los Angeles Police Department, but not the Yelp posting or a 2014 complaint.

She says an independent review will investigate why the hospital system failed to act.

The AP does not typically identify people who may be victims of a sex crime.

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1:45 p.m.

A Los Angeles-area woman tells The Associated Press she was sexually assaulted by a gynecologist who worked for the University of California, Los Angeles.

The woman was a graduate student and patient of Dr. James Heaps when in 2008 she says he grabbed her breast during an examination.

She told the AP on Tuesday she was angered but kept seeing Heaps and never reported it to authorities.

In 2015, she described the incident in a posting on Yelp. UCLA officials apparently saw it when the school began investigating Heaps in 2017 but never contacted the woman. She reported the incident to UCLA on Tuesday.

On Monday, UCLA announced Heaps is charged with sexual battery on two patients and encouraged others to come forward.

Heaps denies any wrongdoing.

The AP does not typically identify people who may be victims of a sex crime.

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-Associated Press reporter Stefanie Dazio.

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10:59 p.m.

A retired gynecologist who worked at the University of California, Los Angeles for decades has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing two patients and the campus is asking anyone who may have other complaints against him to step forward.

Dr. James Heaps pleaded not guilty Monday to sexual battery by fraud against two patients in 2017 and 2018. He also pleaded not guilty to a count of sexual exploitation of a patient and was released without bail.

The patients weren’t UCLA students but were seen at Heaps’ office on the UCLA campus.

Heaps’ attorney says the allegations are baseless.

Heaps served part-time at the student health center from 1989 to 2010 and later worked at UCLA under contract. His contract wasn’t renewed in 2018 after an investigation into the sex-abuse allegations and he retired.

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Associated Press writers John Rogers, Kathleen Ronayne and Don Thompson contributed to this story.

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