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Two former Christian Youth Theater staff members plead not guilty to sexual abuse charges

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 21:16:45-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Two former Christian Youth Theater employees charged with sexually abusing students years ago pleaded not guilty to all charges Thursday.

Brad Davis appeared in court in person, while David Hott appeared virtually in separate, back-to-back hearings.

In 2020, ABC 10News first reported that multiple former Christian Youth Theater (CYT) students were coming forward with sexual assault, abuse, and misconduct stories.

RELATED: Claims of sex abuse from multiple former SD Christian Youth Theater students

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced charges against Davis and Hott in October.

Davis was charged with one count of felony sexual penetration by a foreign object, while Hott was charged with two counts of lewd acts upon a child for incidents more than a decade ago.

In a separate lawsuit, The Pride Law Firm represents ten former students who say they experienced assault or inappropriate behavior from former instructors in the 90s and early 2000s.

In a statement to ABC 10News, attorney Jessica Pride said, “My brave clients have waited over a decade for their day in court. They are happy that the District Attorney’s Office is taking steps to bring their perpetrators to justice. We have faith that a jury will hold the defendants guilty and pave the path for my clients’ continued healing.”

An ally to those who have come forward came to court Thursday to listen to the hearing.

“There’s a lot of us behind these victims that have been brave enough to come forward,” said Loxie Gant. “It’s something we need to stop, and that only starts with victims being able to tell their stories and come forward and not have to hide in the shadows.”

Both men are out on bond and due back in court for hearings in April. Their preliminary hearings have been scheduled for May.

ABC 10News reached out to Christian Youth Theater for comment Thursday but did not immediately hear back.

Previously, they pointed us to their website that shows that staff undergoes background checks and monitoring and child abuse protection training.