James Mason Heaps faces up to 67 years in prison
By Sam Catanzaro
An obstetrician-gynecologist formerly employed by the University of California, Los Angeles now faces a total of 20 felony counts charging him with sexually assaulting seven patients, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Deputy District Attorney Morgan Mallory said James Mason Heaps, 63, of Woodland Hills was charged last year with two counts of sexual battery by fraud and one count of sexual exploitation of patients.
On Monday the case was amended to include eight additional counts of sexual battery by fraud, two additional counts of sexual exploitation of a patient as well as seven counts of sexual penetration of a person unconscious of the nature of the act by fraudulent representation.
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 charges relate to care he provided to two patients in 2017 and 2018 at UCLA Health. Last year, in response to allegations of sexual misconduct against Dr. Heaps, UCLA investigated his conduct, removed him from clinical practice, informed him that his employment was being terminated (after which he announced he was retiring) and reported him to the Medical Board of California and law enforcement.
“Sexual abuse in any form is unacceptable and represents an inexcusable breach of the physician-patient relationship. We are deeply sorry that a former UCLA physician violated our policies and standards, our trust and the trust of his patients,” said Chancellor Gene Block and Vice Chancellor John Mazziotta in a joint statement last year after charges were initially filed against Heaps.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the added charges Monday and is scheduled to return on September 15 in Department W31 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.
Heaps is charged with sexual assaults dating back to 2011 and up to 2018, according to the criminal complaint.
Bail is set at $650,000. If convicted as charged, the defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of more than 67 years in state prison.
The case remains under investigation by the California Department of Consumer Affairs.