A Newport Beach infectious disease doctor is facing criminal charges after authorities allege he sexually assaulted nine male patients under the guise of medical examinations.
Dr. William Thompson IV — a 56-year-old Huntington Beach resident who specializes in treating members of the LGBTQ community — has been charged with more than a dozen felony counts, including sexual penetration by means of fraudulent representation of professional purposes, sexual battery by fraud and forcible oral copulation.
A half-dozen of Thompson’s patients reported that they had learned the procedures he performed on them were allegedly not medically necessary, and were sexual assaults, according to a news release by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
“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 a prepared statement. “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.”
Thompson was arrested at his medical practice in Newport Beach on Wednesday following a joint investigation by the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Newport Beach Police Department. Along with his general practitioner services, prosecutors say Thompson is affiliated with Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.
Thompson previously admitted to misdemeanor DUI charges after he was arrested driving with a blood alcohol content of .38 — far above the .08 legal limit — at 9:30 a.m. in April 2021, the DA office added.
If convicted of the new charges, Thompson faces up to 55 years to life in prison. He is scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment on Nov. 2. In the meantime, he is out of custody on a $100,000 bond, court records show.
It wasn’t immediately clear from court records if Thompson has retained an attorney.
Authorities are asking anyone with additional information, or who believes they may have been a victim, to contact Newport Beach detectives at 949-644-3682 or to make an anonymous tip at 1-800-550-6273.
Source: Orange County Register