Dubbed the "dentist of horror," Jacobus van Nierop was sentenced to eight years in a French prison on Tuesday for mutilating more than 120 patients during dentistry procedures.
According to BBC News
, van Nierop, 51, originally from the Netherlands, was accused of repeatedly injuring patients in the small central France town of Chateau-Chinon. Patients complained that they suffered broken jaws, recurrent abscesses, and septicemia while under the dentist's care.
The Guardian reported
that authorities charged van Nierop with aggravated assault on vulnerable people as well as fraud after he was accused of trying to take money from patients and insurance companies between 2009 and 2012. Van Nierop was also banned from practicing dentistry in France ever again.
The Guardian reported that state prosecutor Lucile Jaillon-Bru asked for the eight-year prison sentence for van Nierop because he "took pleasure at causing pain."
"Van Nierop, who went by the first name of Mark, was hired by a head-hunter for the small town in 2008 and was initially welcomed by locals who were sorely lacking in medical services," wrote The Daily Mail
. "A neighbor recalled the arrival of a smiley, larger-than-life character, with a 'big 4x4, a big dog, a big cigar.'
"But by 2011, the authorities were starting to question some of his accounting, and patients were starting to compare notes on his dentistry," The Daily Mail continued.
A group of people claiming to have been victimized by van Nierop came together in early 2013 and rallied for his arrest, which came later that year. While his trial was pending, though, van Nierop fled to Canada.
After an international warrant was issued, van Nierop was found in a small town in New Brunswick, but the dentist fought extradition before returning to France. Van Nierop charged in fighting his extradition that he suffered from "psychological problems," including gender identity and suicidal issues.
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