SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Newport Beach infectious disease doctor who specializes in treating members of the LGBTQ+ community has been charged with sexually assaulting nine male patients under the guise that the assaults were part of necessary medical exams. Authorities are asking for the public’s help in providing additional information regarding other potential victims.
Dr. William Thompson IV, 56, of Huntington Beach, has been charged with eight felony counts of sexual penetration by means of fraudulent representation of professional purpose, three felony counts of sexual battery by fraud, and two felony counts of forcible oral copulation.
He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years to life plus 25 years if convicted on all counts. He is scheduled to be arraigned on November 2, 2023 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach in Department H1. Thompson is currently out on $100,000 bond.
“I would like to thank everyone who worked tirelessly to follow leads and gather information related to this exhaustive investigation,” said Newport Beach Police Chief Joe Cartwright. “At the heart of our mission is a commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our community, and this investigation exemplifies our dedication to that mission. The collaborative efforts of the Newport Beach Police Department, the California Department of Consumer Affairs, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the courageous victims helped bring this investigation to a successful conclusion.”
In April 2021, Thompson was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Thompson, who had a blood alcohol content of .38 when he was arrested at 9:30 a.m., pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence and one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of more than .08%.
After learning medical procedures being performed on them by Thompson were not medically necessary, six of Thompson’s patients disclosed that they had been sexually assaulted by Thompson. Thompson has been charged by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office with sexually assaulting nine male patients between 2016 and 2020, including forcing a male patient to orally copulate him and performing medically unnecessary anal exams.
According to his website, Thompson “provides General Practitioner services to the LGBTQ Community.” He is affiliated with Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.
Thompson was arrested on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at his Newport Beach medical practice as a result of a joint investigation by the California Department of Consumer Affairs and the Newport Beach Police Department.
“The California Department of Consumer Affairs is grateful for the collaboration between law enforcement partners to take action against those who harm consumers,” said Kathleen Nicholls, Chief of the Department of Consumer Affairs Division of Investigation. “Consumer protection remains our highest priority and we are committed to holding those who violate the law accountable.”
“Many of Dr. Thompson’s patients depended on him to provide life-saving care and he exploited those vulnerabilities for his own sexual gratification,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Unfortunately, because of his specialized area of practice, Dr. Thompson put the very patients he was supposed to treat with professionalism and dignity, in a situation where they may have felt they had no other choice but to be subjected to sexual abuse in order to receive the treatment they needed to continue to live. A doctor’s office should be a place where patients can safely share their most personal vulnerabilities without having to fear they will be preyed upon by a sexual predator. No one should be violated in such a shameful way by someone who has taken an oath to protect their patients.”
Anyone with additional information about Thompson’s activities or any other potential victims is asked to call the Newport Beach Police Department at 949-644-3682. Anonymous tips can also be made to 1-800-550-6273.
Deputy District Attorney Tara Meath of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.