A Dutch dentist that mutilated his patients got 8 years in prison on April 26 in a French court.
Jacobus Van Nierop, 51, was found guilty of assault and fraud, but shown no signs of emotion when the verdict was delivered, AP reported.
Some 100 people had filed complaints against the “horror dentist,” (dubbed as such by French media). The plaintiffs alleged having multiple healthy teeth removed, drill bits left in their gums and teeth, abscesses, recurrent infections, and more.
Not only did Van Nierop cause “mutilations” or “permanent disabilities” to his patients from 2009 to 2012, but he was also overcharging them for the procedures and billed them for procedures he didn’t perform.
The 130-page ruling included 85 counts of assault (of which 45 were mutilations) and 61 counts of fraud against patients, their health insurance companies, and the local social security agency.
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The man was banned from practicing dentistry for life and fined 10,500 euros ($12,000). Damages due to 62 plaintiffs will be decided in June.
Van Nierop has 10 days to file an appeal. He has been detained in a French prison since January 2015.
“It’s silly to say that but I say it: It feels good,” said Marie-Jo Lemoine, a victim of Van Nierop. “He will have time to think about us. But, as for the rest, nothing has changed regarding what we’ll be given in terms of compensation. It won’t be enough to repair the harm he caused. “
Prosecutor Lucile Jaillon-Bru said that in Van Nierop “there was only greed, indifference to another, even some enjoyment in making others suffer.”
Van Nierop’s lawyer said the dentist committed no intentional or premeditated violence toward any of his patients.
However, psychiatric experts said Van Nierop shows a narcissistic pervert personality with an absence of all moral sense and that he doesn’t feel any compassion.
One patient, Sylviane Boulesteix, 65, testified she was unexpectedly summoned to the Dutchman’s dental office in May 2012. Without warning, the dentist pulled eight of her teeth out and immediately fixed dentures to her raw gums. For hours, the woman said she sat “gushing blood.”
In the following days, she said Van Nierop refused to relieve her pain. A judicial expert described the dentist as a “cruel and perverse” man whose incompetence made Boulesteix lose several healthy teeth, go through a trauma and suffer irreversible damage to her mouth.
When the dentist opened his office in late 2008, he was first welcomed by residents in Chateau-Chinon, a small town located in a rural and remote part of France’s Burgundy region known as a “medical desert” because of a lack of medical professionals.
But he provided false documents to practice dentistry in France while facing disciplinary proceedings in his own country.
While enjoying a lavish lifestyle, the man accumulated debts of nearly 1 million euros, according to court documents. He may be insolvent, bad news for the plaintiffs who had claimed more than 3 million euros overall in damages.
In 2013, the Dutchman was arrested but set free, pending trial. Later that year he fled to Canada, but was tracked down to a small town of Nackawic and arrested in September 2014. He tried to slit his throat when the police found him.
He was then fighting extradition to the Netherlands and deportation to France with claims of “psychological problems” including gender identity issues and suicidal tendencies, the Daily Mail reported.
When finally imprisoned in France, he staged hunger and thirst strikes, and once swallowed razor blades, according to CBC.
“You can lock me up for years … it will not change,” he told the investigating judge.
During the trial, the lawyer for one patient told the dentist his client was just waiting for apologies.
Van Nierop replied: “I have no feelings anymore. So, if I was offering my apologies today, I would be lying.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.