California

Delay Granted in ‘Rehab Mogul’ Sentencing

Marblehead Christopher Prew Court
NBC10 Boston

What to Know

  • Christopher Bathum, the self-described drug rehab mogul, was convicted earlier this year of sexual assault
  • Bathum could face up to 65 years in prison
  • He also faces allegations that he and a former employee used rehab clinics to bilk insurance companies out of more than $150 million

A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Wednesday delayed the sexual assault sentencing of self-described "rehab mogul" Christopher Bathum.

Bathum, 65, asked last week to put off sentencing for at least 30 days to allow his attorney to investigate whether a short video clip had been improperly withheld by prosecutors during the trial.

The judge postponed sentencing until November, and has yet to decide if a defense investigator should be appointed to examine the claim. Jurors convicted Bathum in February of sexually assaulting seven women while operating a chain of luxury rehab clinics known as, "Community Recovery Los Angeles."

He faces up to 65 years in prison. One of the victims, who was a key prosecution witness in the trial, is seen on the video clip the defense claimed in a court filing — was never turned-over by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office during pretrial discovery.

"Counsel has lost trust in the veracity and good faith of the Sheriff's Department and Los Angeles County District Attorney's office," defense attorney Carlo A. Spiga wrote in a motion filed last week.

The District Attorney's Office declined to comment to the NBC 4 I-Team Friday afternoon.

Bathum is also charged in a separate fraud case that alleges he and a former employee used the rehab clinics to bilk insurance companies out of more than $150 million. It is one of the largest insurance fraud case in California history.

Bathum's former accomplice, Kirsten Wallace, was sentenced to 11 years in state prison following a plea agreement, in which she admitted to multiple counts of money laundering, theft of personal property, identity theft, and insurance fraud.

The video at the center of the legal filing was recorded on a cellphone by Cliff Brodsky, an investor in Bathm's business who claims he was ripped off by the rehab mogul. Brodsky made a short video with a woman who claims she was drugged and raped by Bathum long before the criminal charges were filed, and said he made the recording on a whim to try to draw attention to the case.

"Will you please tell the camera, tell the world that you were raped by Chris Bathum, tell them what you told ME!," he explains he said on the recording, as he encouraged the woman to go public with her accusations.

"Because she was all spun and she couldn't think what to say, so she said I was drugged and raped by Chris Bathum," Brodsky said in an interview with NBC4 Friday.

The woman then repeats the phrase suggested by Brodsky while on camera.

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