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UCLA to Pay $100M in Sexual Abuse Settlement

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The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) has reached a $100 million settlement with more than 200 women who were sexually abused by a former UCLA gynecologist.

The Miami Herald reported that the settlement was reached on behalf of 203 victims who said Dr. James Heaps had groped and abused them repeatedly over his 35-year career. 

Attorneys said the university was aware of Heaps’ misconduct but chose to conceal his decades of abuse.

Heaps retired in 2018 after appearing before a Los Angeles court, where he plead not guilty to several counts of sexual exploitation and battery. Last year, he also pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of sexual offenses.

Alleged Assault

The latest settlement comes on the heels of last year’s $73 million settlement where 100 women alleged that Heaps had simulated intercourse with them using an ultrasound probe or made inappropriate comments during medical examinations.

Under the class-action settlement, UCLA paid between $2,500 and $250,000 to over 6,000 former patients, with the higher amounts involving the extent of bodily injury and emotional distress as ruled by the jury. 

UCLA didn’t acknowledge wrongdoing but agreed to revamp its policies for identifying and dealing with sexual misconduct.

“While we can’t comment on the specifics, we can say unequivocally that sexual misconduct or abuse is inexcusable. We remain committed to providing quality care that respects the dignity of every patient,” UCLA said in a statement last year.

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