The founder of a Los Angeles drug and alcohol treatment facility was convicted today of sexually assaulting seven women, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
A jury deliberated for about a day before finding 56-year-old Christopher Bathum guilty of 31 counts, including forcible rape, sexual penetration by foreign object, forcible oral copulation and sexual exploitation.
A sentencing setting hearing is scheduled for April 17 in Department 105 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. The defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of about 65 years in state prison and lifetime sex offender registration.
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division prosecuted the case.
Bathum owned and operated 13 “Community Recovery” treatment centers in Los Angeles and Orange counties, as well as six in the state of Colorado.
Evidence presented at trial showed that Bathum preyed upon female patients between 2014 and 2016 by providing them with drugs as they battled to overcome their addiction. He then sexually assaulted them while they were under the influence, the prosecutor said.
The victims’ ages range from their 20s to their early 30s. Several of the assaults happened at the facilities that he ran.
Case BA451669 was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.