The Strange Case of Doctor Heiney

While looking for something else, I found an update for a story (and follow-up) from 2016 and 2017, and it’s fairly unbelievable …yet This is True!

I’ve talked before about the occasional “Freaks of Nomenclature” stories — stories that feature people with strangely appropriate names, such as the currently imprisoned amateur crystal meth chemist, Crystal Beth Williams.

With that, let’s start with the first story, from the 15 May 2016 issue:

Freak of Nomenclature, Hands-On Division

“Her testimony was quite definitive,” said Judge Daniel S. White of Monroe, La., finding a doctor guilty of two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct after fondling a female patient during an orthopedic exam. The same doctor has been convicted of similar charges in Ohio, which is being appealed. His lawyers say he’ll similarly appeal this case. Meanwhile, Dr. Jake Heiney, 41, is free on bond. (RC/Monroe News) …Hard to believe he didn’t specialize in proctology.

And the follow-up (it says so, right in the title!), from the 29 January 2017 issue:

Freak of Nomenclature, Follow-up Department

An orthopedic surgeon from Lambertville, Mich., was convicted of two counts of felony criminal sexual conduct after removing one patients’ pants and underwear, and fondling another patients’ breasts; both women were seeking treatment of back injuries. He also has a previous conviction in a similar case in Ohio, which also resulted in jail time. Now out of jail, Dr. Jake Paul Heiney, 42, has sued one of the women, whose name is being withheld, demanding more than $25,000 because her testimony in court caused him “humiliation, embarrassment, disgrace and public scandal” — not to mention having his medical license revoked. “Defamation of character,” the lawsuit charges. “The message it sends to female victims is they can be punished for doing the right thing,” says the investigator in the criminal case, Monroe County Sheriff’s Detective Jeff Pauli. “I find it appalling.” The woman plans to countersue for intentional infliction of emotional distress, her attorney says. (RC/Monroe News) …Defamation of character? Sounds more like definition of character.

Updates? Yah, You Betcha!

First, Dr. Heiney did indeed appeal his Michigan convictions, but the three-judge state Court of Appeals affirmed them.

As for his Ohio appeal, the Ohio Supreme Court took apart Heiney’s arguments in a lengthy Decision, not only affirming the “judgment of the trial court in full”, but also that “Heiney is ordered to pay the costs of this appeal”. Apparently that affirmation in full included the order that Heiney be placed on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry until the year 2041.

Thus, in my opinion, my “definition of character” tagline is also affirmed.

But to really sew up the “Freak of Nomenclature” theme, it must be noted that one of the attorneys involved in Dr. Heiney’s Ohio appeal, from the University of Toledo’s Criminal Appeals Clinic, was none other than Deborah K. Rump, Esq.

Yes, really. Unbelievable coincidence maybe, but true. The clinic was later renamed the Criminal Post-Conviction Remedies Clinic, and Ms Rump, who has not been renamed, is the still the lead instructor there.

Unfortunately I did not find any updates on Heiney’s civil suit against his victim, but I fervently hope it was quickly thrown out by 38th Circuit Court Judge Daniel S. White.

Neither could I find any updates on the promised countersuit by the victim.

Heiney’s Status

The Strange Case of Doctor Heiney
Jake Paul Heiney’s festive Dept. of Corrections file photo, dated 2016.

No, not your heiney, Jake Heiney, now 46. I believe he was never sent to prison, but he is still under “supervision” (as they call it), according to the Michigan Department of Corrections’ Offender Tracking Information System. He is scheduled to finish formal probation on 13 March 2022.

Further, his license to practice medicine was revoked in 2017, and “for the cited violations of the Public Health Code,” the order of the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (Board of Medicine Disciplinary Subcommittee) continues, “Respondent is FINED $50,000.00 to be paid to the state of Michigan prior to filing an application for reinstatement of the license.” (emphasis from the original)

That, of course, is just to apply; there is no guarantee (or, I hope, chance!) that they will actually reinstate his license, especially considering the part about being listed on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry until the year 2041.

Also, “this action may be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank and any other entity as required by state or federal law” — though that data base is not searchable (it’s “designed to provide data for statistical reporting and analysis only.”)

May he never practice medicine again.

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10 Comments on “The Strange Case of Doctor Heiney

  1. Not being a Buddhist in this incarnation, your update gives me the same satisfied surge that i feel when i slap a mosquito & say: ‘Gotchya!’

    Reply
  2. It’s amazing how “dirty” practitioners will simply move state to state (not unlike problem teachers). When living in Raton, NM and looking for a doctor, I was warned off of Dr. X. Seems he was barred from Texas for mishandling prescriptions. Sure enough, I heard later he was busted in New Mexico, too. He would write prescriptions for opioids, pay the recipients to fill them and then return the pills to him for more money. Seems his wife was an addict, but scuttlebutt said he made a decent side living as well.

    Happens with “dirty” cops, too. The loophole is slowly being closed by new laws. -rc

    Reply
  3. Oh come on people let’s just call this guy what he is, a real pain the a$$ to the hard working medical community. I say let him be the butt of jokes forever more due to his actions.

    To whomever assigned Ms. Rump to this case from the University of Toledo’s Criminal Appeals Clinic, hats to you for having a great sense of humor.

    I suspect she volunteered, though whether it was “despite” or “because of” is the question. -rc

    Reply
  4. Can’t help but wonder whether the result of the Ohio appeal left the doctor and the (named) attorney each feeling like an a$$. Good thing their relationship appears to have been strictly professional, though; had it evolved into romance, the result could have been marriage — along with hyphenated last name(s).

    The horror! -rc

    Reply
  5. New Scientist magazine coined the term “Nominative Determinism” for this and often publishes examples.

    I read that it was coined by the late C. R. Cavonius, of the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund, Germany.

    Among *many* others the hurdler Marina Stepnova, the psychiatrist Dr. Couch, the optometrist Hugh Seymour, and Dr. Snowman, who wrote a book about the north pole.

    The New Scientist article was published in 1994 after running a series of such names, including Snowman and an article on urology by researchers named Splatt and Weedon. It differs from the related concept aptronym (and its synonyms ‘aptonym’, ‘namephreak’, and the Latin phrase nomen est omen — ‘the name is a sign’), in that it focuses on supposed causality. Still, they were far from the first to suggest the idea: Jung came up with the idea, pointing at Freud, since that name means “joy”. One explanation for nominative determinism is implicit egotism, which states that humans have an unconscious preference for things they associate with themselves. -rc

    Reply
    • This thread reminds me of another example — American astronaut Buzz Aldrin, crew member of the Apollo 11 mission and the second human to step onto the lunar surface. His mother’s maiden name was Moon.

      True: Marion Moon. Sadly, like her father she committed suicide (in May 1968, before Buzz went to the moon). -rc

      Reply
  6. Brings to mind the reportedly true tale of my Aunt Charlotte in Coral Gables, FL whose long-tendered housekeeper Ophelia refused to marry her longtime suitor Robert Rass. No one would blame her.

    Reply
  7. More appropriate nomenclature:

    Earlier this week, the newspapers announced the death of Robert Kiolbassa, the president of a sausage company in Austin, Texas. The company, Kiolbassa Smoked Meats, was founded by his father in 1949. (And yes, their product line does include a Polish-style sausage).

    Reply

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