A California doctor who specializes in treating LGBTQ+ patients has been charged with sexually assaulting nine men through his practice, prosecutors announced.
Dr. William Thompson IV, 56, an infectious disease physician, faces charges including sexual assault, forced oral copulation and sexual penetration by fraudulent misrepresentation of professional goals in connection with nine patients who said he assaulted them sexually between 2016 and 2020. , prosecutors said.
“Many of Dr. Thompson’s patients depended on him to provide life-saving care and he exploited those vulnerabilities for his own sexual gratification,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the communicated
Thompson’s website, which has since been taken down, described him as providing “general practitioner services to the LGBTQ community,” including HIV treatment, and was affiliated with Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.
The hospital did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment.
According to prosecutors, six of Thompson’s former patients accused the doctor of sexual assault after learning that the procedures performed on them were unnecessary.
Thompson was arrested on September 20 after the California Department of Consumer Affairs and the Newport Beach Police Department launched an investigation.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by HuffPost, some of Thompson’s former patients said they believed at the time the “sexual penetration was for a professional purpose,” while one patient said they were unconscious at the time of the assault.
According to prosecutors, Thompson has yet to enter a plea and was released on $100,000 bond after his arrest. He is scheduled to appear in court on November 2.
Prosecutors said Thompson now faces a maximum sentence of 30 years to life in prison with an additional 25 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
“A doctor’s office should be a place where patients can safely share their most personal vulnerabilities without having to fear that they will fall prey to a sexual predator,” Spitzer said. “No one should be violated in such a shameful way by someone who has taken an oath to protect their patients.”
Officials are asking for the public’s assistance in providing any additional information about Thompson’s practice, and other potential victims can call the Newport Beach Police Department at 949-644-3682 or make an anonymous tip at 1-800-550- 6273.