Irvine Doctor Accused of Groping Patients Under the Guise of Medical Exams


Outrageous Breaches of Trust: Accused Doctor Faces Charges for Sexual Abuse of Patients

In a startling incident, an Orange County doctor, John Carl Hoefs (79), has been arrested on allegations of gross misconduct and sexual abuse of female patients. Hoefs, a practicing hepatologist and affiliated with Hoag-affiliated medical office in Irvine, allegedly engaged in reprehensible behavior that violated the trust and safety of those seeking medical assistance.

A Pattern of Predation Unraveled

The ordeal began in 2020 when Hoefs allegedly began targeting a female patient with a liver condition. Over five separate incidents, the victim shared disturbing accounts of the doctor’s inappropriate advances. Hoefs reportedly folded back her medical gown, exposing her breasts, and groped her during medical examinations.

Each time the victim attempted to cover herself, Hoefs would allegedly manipulate her gown to continue the exposure for the duration of the exam, demonstrating a blatant disregard for her privacy and dignity.

Second Victim Emerges

The investigation revealed that Hoefs’ alleged predatory behavior extended beyond the initial victim. In 2016 and 2017, a second female patient reported being groped by Hoefs during medical exams.

Arrest and Release

On May 3, authorities apprehended Hoefs. He was later released on a 0,000 bond, leaving a shadow of doubt over the seriousness of his alleged crimes.

Call for Additional Victims to Step Forward

Investigators strongly suspect that there may be other victims who have yet to come forward. The Orange County District Attorney, Todd Spitzer, made a powerful statement condemning such behavior:

“Sexual predators come in all forms and walks of life – even ones wearing white doctors’ coats. 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.”

Public Outrage and Ongoing Investigation

The news of Hoefs’ alleged crimes has sparked outrage and concern within the community. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for June 13, and the investigation remains ongoing.

Irvine Police Detective Rebecca Steen urges potential victims or anyone with information to contact her at 949-724-7170 or email

This incident highlights the critical need for vigilance and reporting in cases of medical misconduct. We must demand accountability and protection for those seeking medical care, ensuring that all patients feel safe and respected in their interactions with healthcare professionals.