February 24, 2024

A Newport Seashore physician specializing in infectious illnesses arrested late final yr after he was accused of abusing 9 sufferers could have abused dozens extra males who had been in his care, in line with a lawsuit filed final week in Orange County.

Dr. William Thompson IV — a 56-year-old physician who lived in Huntington Seashore and had entry to sufferers at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian for the final decade whereas additionally working a non-public observe in Newport Seashore — was charged in September 2023 with greater than a dozen felony counts, together with sexual penetration and sexual battery by fraud and forcible oral copulation.

Now, not less than 73 sufferers are accusing Thompson of abusing them, too.

In a 730-page lawsuit filed Jan. 17, the alleged victims mentioned that starting in 2011 and persevering with by way of 2023, Thompson used his authority as a physician together with manipulative habits to repeatedly topic them to undesirable sexual acts.

The alleged victims mentioned Thompson’s actions occurred at Hoag Hospital, at his non-public medical places of work and at his dwelling, the place he would instruct sufferers to go to him for invasive checks that they later discovered had been pointless, in line with the grievance.

The checks he carried out on his sufferers “served no professional medical objective, and had been dedicated for no different motive than to fulfill Thompson’s personal prurient sexual needs,” attorneys for the alleged victims wrote within the grievance.

“Thompson took benefit of his sufferers’ ignorance of the right administration of genital, anal, and rectal examinations, in order that (he) may drive Plaintiffs to be fondled, stroked, and penetrated for (his) prurient sexual pursuits and sexual gratification.”

Thompson couldn’t instantly be reached for remark Thursday. An lawyer representing Thompson in his prison trial didn’t return a request searching for remark.

Morgan Stewart, a companion at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi in Irvine, which is representing the 73 claimants, mentioned Thursday that quite a few “purple flags” in Thompson’s habits had been ignored in the course of the time that he labored as a specialist treating primarily homosexual males recognized with HIV/AIDS. However he mentioned Thompson’s alleged abuses solely stopped after he was arrested in September.

Thompson has since posted bond and is awaiting additional proceedings within the prison case introduced towards him.

All of the claimants within the lawsuit had been listed as John Does, however a number of males recognized themselves by identify Thursday. In a press release, one alleged sufferer, Johnny Chung, mentioned he began seeing Thompson on the advice of his husband.

“Initially, (Thompson) was extremely skilled and courteous,” Chung wrote in a letter. “However after three months, he started to behave inappropriately with every go to.”

Chung described how Thompson would insist that Chung endure prostate and different examinations of his physique elements “to be thorough,” Chung wrote.

“I left every examination feeling extra violated and brought benefit of,” Chung wrote.

Chung’s husband, Michael Glockner, additionally mentioned Thursday he was abused by Thompson. Glockner mentioned he started seeing Thompson round 2016, when an sickness confined him to a wheelchair.

Glockner mentioned he was beneficial to Thompson as a result of he was the one physician in South Orange County who specialised within the care he wanted. Throughout his time being handled by Thompson, Glockner mentioned, the physician more and more started to push the boundaries of their patient-caretaker relationship.

He mentioned Thompson subjected him to “aggressive prostate exams,” by which the physician “would all the time need me to take a look at his non-public space to see how aroused he was,” Glockner mentioned.

A number of victims who spoke Thursday — who ranged in age from 25 to 68 years previous — mentioned they struggled to come back ahead as a result of males aren’t sometimes seen as victims of sexual abuse.

In Glockner’s case, he mentioned he’s taller than Thompson, and believed his power and dimension meant that he may diffuse or put a cease to Thompson’s habits towards him. However he mentioned the abuse continued regardless.

When Chung advised Glockner that Thompson had additionally abused him throughout an appointment, Glockner mentioned he felt he wanted to come back ahead to inform his story.

“I assumed I used to be the one one he was doing this to,” Glockner, 68, mentioned. “However when he did this to Johnny, that’s after I knew there have been extra of us.”

In a press release Thursday, officers at Hoag mentioned they acknowledge “the braveness it takes for former sufferers to come back ahead.”

The officers mentioned Thompson was an unbiased medical practitioner who was not employed by the hospital group. However they mentioned Thompson “had scientific privileges at Hoag Hospital” that had been suspended following the submitting of fees towards him final yr.