The Continued Downfall Of Christopher Bathum
A while back, we did a blog expose on California “Rehab Mogul” Christopher Bathum and his fall from grace amid scandalous accusations and poor recovery practices. Well, one of our industry’s most notorious scam artists has apparently gotten himself into more trouble and now stands convicted on 31 counts of rape and sexual exploitation (all allegedly taking place at his treatment clinics). Not surprisingly, his downfall has captured national headlines and illustrates just how dangerous a crooked recovery facility can be.
At his peak, Bathum ran 20 treatment facilities throughout the southland. His Community Recovery Los Angeles chain assisted patients battling every form of addiction and, initially, proved to be very successful. Luxury was a particular selling point of Bathum’s clinics, with typical establishments including amenities like Olympic-sized swimming pools, private hot tubs, five star chefs and more. But behind the facade, illegal business practices and immoral behavior apparently ran rampant.
Proving to be one of the worst types of victimizers, Bathum allegedly preyed on his female patients and even used intoxicants to solicit sex.
“Bathum made vulnerable young women feel special, showering them with ‘internships’ and access to company cars and iPhones,” Washington Post scribe Samantha Schmidt wrote. “But he also used their weaknesses — the addictions he was supposed to help them overcome — to lure the women with drugs, get them high, and then sexually assault them.”
According to prosecutors, many of Bathum’s crimes occurred on the premises of his facilities. Back when we wrote about him, not all of these crimes had come to light. But L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller has been working hard since then to gather evidence and build a compelling case.
Bathum’s trial ended late last month and quickly saw a unanimous guilty verdict. Now he faces up to 65 years in prison for his crimes. And, as The Post is reporting, Bathum’s high-profile conviction could open up the floodgates to more charges against shady recovery clinics. Their research showed that the number one complaint from clients involving the rehab industry is sexual misconduct. Currently, as many as 78 facilities nationwide are under investigation for similar matters.
We certainly support the crackdown of any and all inappropriate recovery clinics operating throughout the U.S. Taking advantage of a client in a vulnerable state is an absolute travesty and we strongly encourage anyone seeking treatment to do diligent research before choosing a facility. Make sure they are accredited, licensed and have a strong reputation that can back up whatever stats are being plastered on their website.