Former UCLA gynecologist found guilty of sexual misconduct with patients

A jury found former UCLA gynecologist James Heaps guilty of sexual misconduct on Oct. 20.

Heaps, who worked as an OB-GYN at UCLA Health, was indicted in May 2021 for 21 counts of felony sexual assault of former patients, according to The Washington Post. His trial began Aug. 9.

Heaps was found guilty of three counts of sexual battery by fraud and two counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person. He was found not guilty of seven other counts, and the jury was deadlocked on the remaining counts.

Over 500 lawsuits were filed against UCLA and Heaps, alleging that the university failed to protect its patients even after becoming aware of the assaults. According to the Daily Bruin, the UC Regents agreed to three separate settlements of $374 million, $243.6 million and $73 million.

“UCLA Health is grateful for the patients who came forward,” the organization said in a public statement. “Sexual misconduct of any kind is reprehensible and intolerable. Our overriding priority is providing the highest quality care while ensuring that patients feel safe, protected and respected.”

Heaps’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 17.

UC Berkeley launches $100k task force to distinguish what names to use to refer to the university

UC Berkeley is establishing the Berkeley/Cal Identity Task Force to determine what naming practices should be officially implemented.

The task force primarily hopes to address the division in the name “UC Berkeley” being used in academic contexts and the name “Cal” being used in athletic contexts, according to The Daily Californian.

“Our hope would be that any changes would bolster the reputation of the campus,” campus executive director of communications and marketing and task force co-chair Patrick Holmes told The Daily Californian. “Each variation of our name is associated with different aspects of our storied history and reputation for excellence. We want people to know that Berkeley and Cal are one university.”

The Office of Communications and Public Affairs is funding the endeavor with $100,000, money accumulated through one-time salary savings from vacancies during the 2021-22 academic year.

According to the charge letter sent by Chancellor Carol T. Christ, the task force will review available data regarding the university’s brand equity, evaluate best practices regarding branding and naming and develop a naming framework for identifying the campus.

Existing naming guidelines, according to the letter, prohibit “Cal” and “Berkeley” from being mixed as designations. The word “bears” and imagery of bears are also not allowed to be paired with UC Berkeley’s name.

In public reception to the task force, students and faculty voiced concerns with the large amount of funding dedicated to the project and felt it could be allocated toward campus issues including housing unhoused students, rising class sizes and under ventilated classrooms, according to The Daily Californian.

One professor told The Daily Californian that the decision to create the task force was akin to “Nero fiddling while Rome is burning.” 

“Fix the institution before you fix the name,” second-year Benjamin Leong told the Daily Californian.

The task force will present its findings at the end of the academic year.

A version of this article appeared on p. 2 of the Oct. 27, 2022 print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Sindhu Ananthavel
Sindhu Ananthavel (she/they) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Ananthavel was the Deputy News Editor for the 2022-23 school year, the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2021-22 school year and an assistant news editor for the 2021-22 school year. She can be reached at