Orange County doctor accused of groping female patients

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

An Orange County doctor has been arrested for allegedly groping and sexually assaulting female patients.

The suspect was identified as John Carl Hoefs, 79, of Irvine, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Hoefs is a practicing hepatologist at a Hoag-affiliated medical office in Irvine and has been affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, and the Liver Specialty Center.

Beginning in 2020, Hoefs is accused of assaulting a female patient who had a liver condition in five separate incidents, according to court documents.

During these alleged assaults, Hoefs folded over the victim’s medical gown to expose her breasts before grabbing them during a medical visit.

Each time the woman tried to cover herself, Hoefs allegedly moved the gown so it would continue exposing her breasts for the remainder of the exam, authorities said.

John Carl Hoefs, 79, seen in photos from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. John Carl Hoefs, 79, seen in a photo from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

A second female victim was allegedly groped by Hoefs during medical exams in November 2016 and October 2017.

Hoefs was arrested on May 3 and released after posting a $500,000 bond.

Authorities believe there may be more victims who have yet to come forward.

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

An arraignment hearing is scheduled for June 13 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.

The incidents remain under investigation. Anyone who may be a victim or has additional information about Hoefs’ activities is asked to call Irvine Police Detective Rebecca Steen at 949-724-7170 or email

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.