Dr. John Hoefs Charged With Sexually Assaulting Two Female Patients

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Dr. John Hoefs, Irvine Hepatologist, Charged With Groping Two Female Patients

Dr. John Hoefs, Irvine Hepatologist, Charged With Groping Two Female Patients

May 10, 2024

A local doctor has been arrested for allegedly groping and sexually assaulting two female patients at his Irvine, California, clinic.

Dr. John Carl Hoefs, 79, of Irvine was identified as the sexual assault suspect, an announcement from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office confirmed.

Dr. Hoefs is a liver specialist – hepatologist – who has been affiliated with Hoag Hospital, the Liver Specialty Center, and the University of California, Irvine.

The alleged sexual assaults are believed to have started in 2020. Hoefs is accused of sexually assaulting a female patient diagnosed with a liver condition. Court documents indicate that during the alleged assaults, Dr. John Hoefs “folded over the victim’s medical gown to expose her breasts before grabbing them” during a medical exam.

The woman reportedly attempted to cover herself multiple times, but Dr. Hoefs allegedly moved the gown repeatedly so it would expose the patient’s breasts throughout the exam.

A second patient of Dr. Hoefs came forward and described the “exact same groping experience and behavior,” according to an ABC 7 story. Dr. Hoefs is alleged to have sexually assaulted the second victim multiple times between November 2016 and October 2017.

Hoefs was taken into custody on May 3 and released after posting a $500,000 bond. He faces seven counts of sexual battery by fraud, the OC District Attorney’s Office announced.

“These women were coming to the doctor for lifesaving medical treatment and they were subjected to horrific and quite frankly humiliating behavior by somebody who they trusted to treat their medical condition,” Kimberly Edds, spokesperson for the DA’s office, said.

“He was treating one woman for a liver condition when he removed her medical gown, folded it back, exposed her breasts and then grabbed her breasts on five separate occasions beginning in 2020,” Edds added.

“Sexual predators come in all forms and in all walks of life – even ones wearing white doctors’ coats,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. “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.”

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian released a statement indicating that Dr. Hoefs is not employed by the hospital or its affiliates.

They added that the Irvine hepatologist operated an independent practice from leased space.

Upon learning of this news, Medical Staff immediately suspended his staff privileges. Our priority remains the safety and well-being of our patients, and we are committed to ensuring the highest standards of care within our facilities,” Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian said.

Dr. John Hoefs ” … was trained to treat that medical condition and instead he used that position of trust and abused that position of trust for his own sexual gratification, which is just absolutely disgusting,” DA’s office spokesperson Kimberly Edds said.

Dr. Hoef’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 13 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.

Authorities are requesting the public’s assistance in identifying any additional sexual assault victims of Dr. John Hoefs. Please contact Irvine Police Detective Rebecca Steen at (949) 724-07170 or rsteen@cityofirvine.org to report a groping incident or other sex crime.

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