1st woman testifies in case against ex-UCLA gynecologist

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Thursday, August 11, 2022
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The court allowed a roughly 6-foot tall female anatomical doll, as a prop for the witness to use in reference to how the former UCLA gynecologist touched her in ways that she felt left her embarrassed, shocked and confused.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Kern County woman, who goes by Kara C., opened up testimony in the criminal case against Dr. James Heaps in Downtown Los Angeles Wednesday.

The court allowed a roughly 6-foot tall female anatomical doll as a prop for the witness to use in reference to how the former UCLA gynecologist touched her in ways that she felt left her embarrassed, shocked and confused. Heaps has pleaded not guilty.

Kara C., a survivor of triple negative breast cancer, explained how she was undergoing aggressive treatment around the time she saw Heaps. She described him rubbing her across her abdomen and around her vaginal area with a level of intimacy that she neither welcomed nor experienced in any doctor's appointment prior.

At the time, Heaps was explaining how certain incisions would work in preparation for Kara C. to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, considering she has the BRCA gene, which makes people more susceptible to certain kinds of cancer. While describing such incisions, Kara C. testified that Heaps told her she would still get to wear "skimpy bikinis."

The defense tried poking holes in her credibility, pulling medical records and previous interviews she had with investigators that can be interpreted as contradictory to what she testified in court. In one interview with investigators, the defense accused her of dismissing Heaps' actions as not sensual. Kara C. disputed that interpretation of the transcript.

She wrote to UCLA and the medical board 10 days after her appointment in 2014.

Another woman scheduled to testify complained in 2018, and her complaint was what carried momentum into the eventual criminal complaint.