LOS ANGELES — A former UCLA campus gynecologist convicted of sex- related charges involving two patients was sentenced Wednesday to 11 years in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender upon his release.
Superior Court Judge Michael Carter handed down the sentence hours after rejecting a motion for a new trial for James Mason Heaps, 66, who was convicted last Oct. 20 by a downtown Los Angeles jury on three counts of sexual battery by fraud and two counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person. Those charges involved two patients, with jurors finding that those victims were particularly vulnerable and that Heaps had abused a position of trust.
Heaps was acquitted of three counts each of sexual penetration of an unconscious person and sexual battery by fraud, and one count of sexual exploitation of a patient — with those charges involving two other patients.
The judge declared a mistrial on the remaining nine counts — three counts of sexual battery by fraud, four counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person and two counts of sexual exploitation of a patient. Attorneys are scheduled to be back in court Aug. 7 for a hearing at which prosecutors are expected to announce if they will retry Heaps on those counts.
Another hearing was also set for May 11 to hear a defense request that Heaps be allowed to post bail and be released from custody pending an appeal of his case. Heaps has been behind bars since his October conviction.
During Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, Deputy District Attorney Rosa Zavala read statements from the two victims.
One victim, identified only as Natalie B., said the case has been a long and painful journey.
“I had to relive the most horrific experience of my life,” she said in the statement. “... Being a victim of sexual assault has completely altered my life.”
She said she gave birth to her children at UCLA, but Heaps’ actions have made the university’s medical facilities “a depressing traumatizing trigger.”
The second victim, identified only as Jane T., said in her statement, “I believe he should serve every single day of a maximum sentence.”
I wouldn't be surprised if UCLA knew about the crimes, and ignored them (IMHO). Not impressed with UCLA.
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