Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying additional potential victims of a 79-year-old hepatologist charged with groping two of his female patients when he grabbed their breasts during medical exams at a Hoag affiliated medical office in Irvine, according to the OCDA.

Dr. John Carl Hoefs, 79, of Irvine, has been charged with seven felony counts of sexual battery. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison if convicted of all counts.

In addition to Hoag Hospital in Irvine, Dr. Hoefs has been affiliated with the University of California, Irvine Medical Center and the Liver Specialty Center in Irvine.

Beginning in 2020, Hoefs is accused of assaulting a female patient suffering from a liver condition on five separate occasions by folding over her medical gown, exposing her breasts and grabbing them during each medical visit. Each time the patient tried to cover herself, Hoefs is accused of moving the gown and exposing her breasts for the remainder of the exam.

Hoefs also is accused of groping another female patient’s breasts during an exam in November 2016 and again in October 2017.

Hoefs was arrested on May 3, 2024, and released after posting a $500,000 bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned on June 13, 2024, in Department H1 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.

“Sexual predators come in all forms and in all walks of life – even ones wearing white doctors’ coats,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Women seeking potentially life-saving medical treatment should not be subjected to sexual abuse by the medical professional they have entrusted with their lives. This blatant abuse of trust will not be tolerated.”

A criminal complaint sets forth criminal accusations against a defendant who is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Anyone with additional information about Hoefs’ activities or any additional potential victims are asked to call Irvine Police Department Detective Rebecca Steen at (949) 724-7170.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Juliet Oliver of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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