'Therapist' charged with rape is charming dropout, associates say
thescribetony | May 27, 2008 at 04:46 pmby
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Carmine Baffa, life coach, motivational speaker, and self made millionaire has been accused of rape by 8 of his clients in the Atlanta metro area.
"He has amazing ability to influence people and persuade them," said Michal Wallace, who worked as an apprentice to Baffa in 1997. "It's like some kind of organized religion, only there's no organization."
Police say Baffa also used his charm and street smarts for a sinister purpose — persuading as many as eight clients in metro Atlanta to have sex with him while claiming it was part of their treatment.
Baffa told clients he was a therapist though he is not a 'licensed...counselor of any sort' according to police. According to Illana Spellman, of the Gwinnett County police, Baffa's doctorate is one that he got on-line.
"Technically for him to tell people he was a doctor, I guess he could introduce himself as such. But he's not licensed to practice,"
According to Baffa's half-brother, Baffa was a high school drop out.
Baffa is charged with raping two girls (now 13 and 19) and one 14 year old boy in individual 'life coaching' sessions at his home in suburban Atlanta. In addition, Cobb County police have filled an additional 22 charges
of sexually assaulting four women and a young girl who attended his seminars at a Marietta hotel.
According to testimony at the preliminary hearing:
The 19-year-old said she didn't want to have sex with Baffa, "but she felt she could not say no and was afraid of him," the officer testified. The 13-year-old was actually living with Baffa after he convinced the girl's family she was suicidal and needed his full-time therapy.
Drew Findling, Baffa's attorney, said he will prove his clients innocent.
"Anyone who sat through the preliminary hearing has to think these allegations are extremely questionable, both in the delay, their sincerity and most of all their believability," Findling said.