Christopher Bathum, 56, was found guilty of 31 criminal counts by a Los Angeles jury. Arrested in 2016, Bathum once owned and operated 13 rehabilitation treatment centers throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. He also owned 6 in the state of Colorado. Bathum's convictions included rape and drug dealing, as he was particularly predatory to the most susceptible addicts in the center--often cornering them and exploiting their weakest points. He manipulated and abused his role as a counselor by showing victims how to beat drug tests, partaking in drug use with patients, and offering incentives such as use of a vehicle or cell phone in exchange for sex.
Bathum was convicted on 12 counts of sexual exploitation, 13 counts of offering controlled substances to clients, 2 counts of forcible oral copulation, 2 counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object, and 1 count of rape by force of fear. The jury, comprised of 5 men and 1 woman, found Bathum guilty of sexually exploiting several individuals. He will be sentenced during a hearing on April 17.
Our legal team of Los Angeles rehab sexual abuse attorneys have been instrumental in representing some of the victims in this case, and we are proud to have played a significant part in advocating on behalf of those who suffered unspeakable acts of abuse.
Unfortunately, sexual abuse runs rampant in rehabilitation and treatment centers. This is because patients are often in a mentally, emotionally, and physically vulnerable position, relying heavily on their caregivers, program leaders, and staff members for around the clock support and supervision. This leads to an abuse of power--often resulting in sexual violation.
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