In November of 2016, Christopher Bathum’s then successful business that operated sober living facilities was put to rest following his arrest on shocking charges. Although he claimed to be a psychotherapist seeking to assist those suffering from addiction, the reality was more destructive. ABC News ’20/20: Rehab Mogul’ is a look at the numerous violations Christopher committed and the victims he did harm during his actions. Let’s see what transpired, will we?
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Who is Christopher Bathum?
Christopher began his journey into the “luxury rehabilitation” business after co-founding Seasons at Malibu, California. Christopher later tapped into his insights into the workings of the business to create Community Recovery Los Angeles, which grew into a network of around twenty centers in California and Colorado. The company advertised itself as a treatment facility for those struggling with addiction the business grew in recognition. Members of the facility were able to use kitchens, pools, yoga, and other amenities.
The situation began to shift in 2015 as numerous reports of Christopher’s history and behavior with patients surfaced. A report in LA Weekly revealed that Christopher did not claim to be a psychotherapist and was not a graduate of his degree in college. His experience in work was the cleaning of pools, and he was also certified to provide the practice of hypnotherapy. In addition, Christopher had prior felony convictions for selling goods on eBay that he had not delivered. Christopher was also heroin and meth-addicted addict who was overdosed in a hotel when taking the drugs of patients.
This was just the beginning of the story. Then, patients in his facility were able to come to the forefront and claimed that he assaulted them sexually. Christopher was a victim of vulnerable women with addiction issues and gave them access to corporate cars and iPhones. They also offered the exact things they were trying to overcome: addiction. Nicole Johnston and Jennifer Irick, who were former clients of Christopher, claimed they were sprayed with drugs and sexually assaulted.
An ex-employee, Roseann Stahl, said she got dismissed following the discovery of Christopher taking drugs and engaging in sexual relations with clients. In one instance, she even discovered methamphetamine inside his car. Authorities have noted that several former patients have accused Christopher of sexual harassment during the period between 2012 to 2016, nearly all of them happening in his facilities for treatment.
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In addition to the sexual assault accusations, Christopher and his CFO, Kirsten Wallace, were involved in insurance fraud. They purchased insurance policies in clients’ names without their knowledge. They charged their former clients for services, and, in many cases, they billed companies for services they never provided.
Where Is Christopher Bathum Now?
In February of 2018, when he was age 56, Christopher was found guilty of 31 charges, including sexual penetration with an object that was not his own and forcible oral copulation, and sexually exploitative behavior. In January of 2020, Christopher pleaded guilty to various charges, including grand theft, fraud in the insurance industry, and one count each of money laundering and identity theft.
In the end, Christopher received a sentence of 52 years in prison for sexual crimes and a 20-year sentence for the bogus health insurance scheme that is believed to be worth $175 million. According to the court records, he remains in the Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, California. Christopher was required to be registered as a sexual offender for the rest of his life. He will be eligible for parole by November 2036.