'Horror Dentist' Goes on Trial

He's accused of mutilating more than 100 French patients
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2016 1:03 AM CST
Updated Mar 8, 2016 6:30 AM CST
'Horror Dentist' Goes on Trial
In this photo dated May 16, 2009, Jacobus van Nierop is pictured in his dental office in Chateau-Chinon, France.   (AP Photo/Christophe Masson)

Newspapers have dubbed him the "horror dentist," former patients in a small French town call him the "butcher"—and if you have dental phobia, Jacobus van Nierop may soon feature in your nightmares. The Dutchman went on trial Tuesday in Nevers, France, accused of intentional violence and fraud during the four years he worked in a rural area, the AP reports, where he allegedly mutilated the mouths of more than 100 patients with terrible dentistry. More than 50 patients are seeking damages, saying he pulled out healthy teeth or left them with problems such as broken jaws and recurring abscesses after unnecessary—or unnecessarily violent—procedures.

"When I arrived, he gave me seven or eight shots in my gums. And he pulled out eight teeth at once," a former 65-year-old patient who visited van Nierop for braces tells Le Journal du Centre. "After that, I gushed blood for three days!" The 51-year-old dentist, who had been recruited to work in the remote area despite a poor record in his homeland, was arrested in 2013 after more than 120 victims banded together to press charges, AFP reports. He fled France but was later arrested in a small town in Canada, where he reportedly tried to slit his own throat after police tracked him down in September 2014. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of more than $400,000. (This young French boy concocted a kidnapping story after skipping a dental visit.)

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