The founder of a sequence of Southern California drug treatment facilities has been convicted of sexually assaulting seven feminine sufferers after plying them with drugs, government said.
Christopher Bathum, 56, used to be found in charge through a jury on Monday of 31 counts, including forcible rape, sexual penetration by international object, forcible oral copulation and sexual exploitation, the La County District Legal Professional’s Administrative Center announced.
Prosecutors mentioned Bathum, who owned and operated 13 Community Restoration drug remedy facilities in California and six others in Colorado, victimized feminine sufferers ranging in age from their early 20s to their early 30s among 2014 and 2016 after giving them drugs as they sought to overcome their addictions. a few of the attacks came about throughout the facilities he ran.
“They were easy objectives,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Lawyer Reinhold Mueller said right through ultimate arguments, according to the sea County Sign In. “They have been best sufferers.”
A jury of 5 men and 6 girls acquitted Bathum, a self-proclaimed “rehab tycoon,” of eleven counts of sexual exploitation and one rely of providing a controlled substance. The panel was deadlocked on three other fees, including rape by means of use of substances and two counts of sexual penetration by means of a overseas item, according to newspaper.
Prosecutors said Bathum used drugs with some of his sufferers and recommended them how you can beat drug tests. He also offered a few of the younger women unique perks like internships, get admission to to company vehicles and iPhones in return for intercourse.
Bathum’s lawyer, Carlo Spiga, downplayed the allegations, characterizing them as consensual encounters and part of a “character assault” on his client. Spiga also advised the jury throughout trial that a minimum of certainly one of the ladies “knew what she was once doing at all occasions” even as with Bathum, in line with the newspaper.
“how many of them have been hitting him up for cash?” Spiga additionally asked jurors.
Bathum now faces as much as SIXTY FIVE years in jail whilst he’s expected to be sentenced subsequent month and a life-time registration as a intercourse wrongdoer. He’s scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for a separate cash laundering and insurance coverage fraud case that prosecutors allege comes to up to $175 million in faux claims.