February 26, 2018 – LOS ANGELES — A self-dubbed “Rehab Mogul” who operated more than 13 drug treatment centers in Southern California was convicted Monday of rape and drug dealing. In all, Christopher Bathum, 56, was found guilty of 31 criminal counts. A Los Angeles jury also found him not guilty on 12 similar counts and deadlocked on three others. Before he was arrested in 2016, Bathum owned and operated 13 “Community Recovery” treatment centers in Los Angeles and Orange counties, as well as six in the state of Colorado. He faces a maximum sentence of 65 years in state prison for the sex conviction and lifetime registration as a sex offender. Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller said Bathum preyed on especially vulnerable addicts who were at the lowest point of their life. “They were easy targets,” Mueller said in his closing argument. “They were perfect victims.” Bathum came to the industry with a criminal background and with no education in health care. An investigation by the Southern California News Group found his situation isn’t unique, and that the drug and alcohol rehab industry is rife with fraud and abuse.
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