Recently, Attorney Alan Schimmel, who is representing three women in a lawsuit filed against Chris Bathum, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center operator who was accused of sexual battery, spoke with LA Weekly. During the interview, Mr. Schimmel shed light on the lack of regulation in such facilities, stating, “These facilities aren’t monitored, they aren’t well regulated, and the people running them are usually money makers […] And a lot of times, something horrible occurs.”
According to multiple sources, owners of such facilities are not required to obtain or maintain any licenses before opening alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers. In fact, Bathum, who is facing his second sexual battery lawsuit in the past six years, only has a license to perform hypnotherapy. In addition, there are no strict regulations which owners or facilities must abide by in this particular industry, creating too much leeway for employees within these facilities to mistreat, neglect, or abuse patients. In addition, there exist no guidelines, which enforce rules to determine the type of treatments these facilities must provide to qualify for insurance reimbursements.
As of now, Bathum is facing a lawsuit, which claims that he and three of his female patients spent time in a motel room where all four shot heroine and meth. The suit also claims that Bathum had sexual intercourse with two of the patients and tried to force himself on the third woman. After Bathum overdosed, he was transported in an ambulance to the hospital.
Additionally, the suit shed lights on an incident that occurred on December 25, 2017, when Bathum led a meditation and molested one of his patients during this time. Currently, three employees from Bathum’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation center have been named as defendants in the complaint since the three, allegedly, knew about Bathum’s sexual behavior with the women and failed to report these acts or protect the patients.