NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — A Newport Beach doctor who specializes in treating members of the LGBTQ+ community has been accused of sexually abusing nine male patients under the guise of medical exams, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Dr. William Thompson IV, 56, of Huntington Beach, was charged Sept. 21 with eight felony counts of sexual penetration by fraudulent representation of professional intent, three felony counts of sexual assault by fraud and two felony counts of forced oral copulation.
“After learning that the medical procedures Thompson performed on them were not medically necessary, six of Thompson’s patients reported that they had been sexually abused by Thompson,” the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
He is free on $100,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 2 in Newport Beach, prosecutors said.
The alleged assaults occurred between 2016 and 2020. Thompson was arrested at his doctor’s office on September 20.
According to the district attorney’s office, he faces a maximum sentence of 30 to life in prison, plus an additional 25 years if convicted as charged.
A patient of Dr. Thompson spoke to Eyewitness News.
“My heart sank,” said the patient, who wished to remain anonymous. “It just makes me question everything about our interactions since 2017.”
The 33-year-old said he has been going to the doctor every three to six months for the past six years.
“I thought some of the things he would do during the physical exam were part of the physical exam and just thinking back to those times, I should have known better. I should have questioned some things,” the patient said.
The Medical Board of California said it was aware of the allegations against Dr. Thompson is aware and is investigating the matter.
His medical license remains unrestricted.
The patient we spoke with said he reached out to investigators and wanted to help as much as he could.
He said: “I feel like the trust I had in him has been violated. I feel like my body has been violated by someone I trusted.”
In April 2021, Thompson was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, prosecutors said. 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 drunken driving and one misdemeanor count of drunken driving with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08%.
“Many of Dr.’s patients “Thompson depended on him for life-saving care and he exploited those vulnerabilities for his own sexual gratification,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Unfortunately, Dr. Thompson, because of his specialty, placed the very patients he was supposed to treat with professionalism and dignity in a situation where they may have felt they had no choice but to be subjected to sexual abuse in order to bring order to the situation to receive the treatment they needed to continue living.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Newport Beach Police Department at (949) 644-3682. Anonymous tips can also be given to (800) 550-6273.