Ex-rehab center operator sentenced for sexually assaulting patients – Daily News

The former owner and operator of greater than a dozen Southland drug-treatment and rehabilitation facilities was sentenced Tuesday to just about 53 years in state jail for sexually assaulting or exploiting seven sufferers and providing managed substances.

Christopher Bathum – who owned and operated Group Restoration of Los Angeles and different entities in Southern California and Colorado – was additionally ordered to register as a intercourse offender for the remainder of his life, in accordance with the Los Angeles County District Legal professional’s Workplace.

Bathum was convicted in February 2018 of 31 counts, together with forcible rape, sexual penetration by a overseas object, forcible oral copulation, sexual exploitation and providing managed substances, together with methamphetamine and heroin.

Jurors acquitted Bathum, now 58, of a dozen different expenses and deadlocked on three remaining counts.

“Each is a drug addict,” Deputy District Legal professional Reinhold Mueller stated of Bathum’s victims on the outset of the trial.

A number of the girls suffered from disgrace and hopelessness, and Bathum exploited the truth that that they had “shared a few of their most intimate secrets and techniques with him,” Mueller informed the jury.

The defendant – who lived along with his spouse and kids in Agoura – gave his sufferers medication as they had been making an attempt to interrupt a cycle of habit, used alongside them and taught them the right way to beat drug assessments, the prosecutor stated.

Bathum additionally provided the ladies particular privileges, equivalent to internships, firm vehicles and entry to iPhones, positioning himself as a father determine to the younger girls of their 20s and 30s however appearing like a predator, Mueller stated.

“They had been straightforward targets. They had been excellent victims,” the prosecutor informed jurors.

Bathum pleaded no contest in January in a separate case to 14 felony counts in reference to a $175 million insurance coverage fraud scheme wherein he was charged with Kirsten Wallace. He was sentenced in that case to twenty years in state jail, which can run concurrently the sentence within the sexual-assault case.

Wallace, who co-owned Group Restoration of Los Angeles with Bathum, pleaded responsible in 2018 to all 46 felony counts towards her and was sentenced to 11 years in state jail.

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