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Rehab Owner Found Guilty of Raping Patients

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Christopher Bathum, a 56-year-old self-proclaimed “rehab mogul,” was recently found guilty of abusing seven female patients in California drug treatment facilities.

Bathum, who has no record of healthcare experience, founded more than a dozen recovery centers in Southern California and Colorado. After years of sexual misconduct, he was found guilty of 31 criminal accounts. These included sexual assault, sexual exploitation, rape and many others.

Bathum was able to complete these gruesome acts by first acting as a mentor and friend to young women in his facilities who were struggling with substance addiction and alcoholism. These women were vulnerable, making them an easy target for Bathum’s abuse. Their ages ranged from 20’s to 30’s.

Allegations from Bathum’s victims finally surfaced.

Court documents have revealed that he would entice his victims with special attention, letting them use company cars and giving them opportunities for scholarships and internships. Also, for at least two years, he lured his patients with drugs, such as methamphetamine and heroine, even though they were in the midst of curing their addiction.

Reports surfaced of Bathum using drugs with the women and schooling them on how to beat a drug tests. He would sexually assault them when they were under the influence.  

Despite having no degree or drug counseling license, he founded Community Recovery Los Angeles, a chain of facilities including almost 20 sober living houses and output clinics.

According to The Washington Post, Barthum’s business was entangled in at least 50 other lawsuits, including fraud and civil harassment. He even stole patient identities to buy health insurance policies.

His actions have been referred to as “one of the largest health-insurance fraud cases in California.”

Barthum’s attorney downplayed his allegations and attempted to discredit the victims, even suggesting that the women were after his money. He faces up to 65 years in prison and will be sentenced in April.

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