Civil suit accuses Newport Beach doctor of sexual assault during exams

Leticia Juarez Image
Friday, January 26, 2024
Lawsuit accuses OC doctor of sexual assault during exams
Former patients of an Orange County doctor are suing him and Hoag Hospital, alleging he committed multiple acts of sexual abuse while performing medical exams.

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- A wolf in sheep's clothing is how alleged victims of Dr. William Thompson IV described the Newport Beach infectious disease physician.

"I was told that he was very friendly and that he was the best and that he cared the most," said Michael, one of the alleged victims listed in a lawsuit.

But Michael says that all changed after a few visits.

"After giving the prostate exams he would always want me to look at his private area to show me how aroused he was," said Michael. "I have lost trust in doctors because of this incident."

On Thursday, Michael and other alleged victims of Thompson gathered at the law office of Manly, Stewart and Finaldi to speak about the alleged sexual abuse.

They are some of the 73 John Does listed in the lawsuit filed against Thompson who they say assaulted them under the guise of medically necessary exams.

"Over the span of a decade Dr. Thompson is alleged to have utilized his position as medical doctor to sexually abuse men that sought treatment from him. He used the authority granted to him by Hoag Hospital," said attorney Morgan Stewart.

Thompson was arrested last September.

The Orange County District Attorney's Office has charged him with 13 felony counts of sexual penetration by means of fraudulent representation of professional purpose. Along with three counts of sexual battery by fraud and two felony counts of forcible oral copulation. They also believe there may be more victims.

"Dr. Thompson needs to be in jail and Hoag Hospital had an opportunity to stop him a long time ago and they should be held responsible too because if they would have done something sooner I never would have been violated by him," said Julio, listed as John Doe 22 in the complaint.

Thompson specialized in treating members of the LGBTQ+ community but he also treated patients outside his medical office.

"We know he was abusing individuals in places like the emergency room with other individuals around. We know that there were doctors that witnessed and reported him."

The lawsuit accuses Hoag Hospital of ignoring complaints and failing to investigate Thompson.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, Hoag Memorial Hospital issued this statement:

"Hoag condemns the conduct alleged against Dr. William Thompson in the recent lawsuit and recognizes the courage it takes for former patients to come forward.

Dr. Thompson operated an independent medical practice and was not employed by Hoag or its affiliates. He had clinical privileges at Hoag Hospital which were summarily suspended by the Medical Staff following the filing of criminal charges against him.

We recognize that the legal process must take its course and we will continue to cooperate in all respects with the ongoing criminal proceedings against Dr. Thompson.

For the last seven decades, Hoag has been committed to providing world-class care defined by respect, integrity, compassion and excellence for all patients, including members of the LGBTQ+ community."

The California Medical Board has suspended Thompson's medical license. He is currently out on $100,000 bail. He is due in court for his criminal pretrial hearing in March.