Former Director of Christian Youth Theater Faces Trial for Alleged Sexual Abuse

Pixabay/Edward Lich

The alleged abuse of a 13-year-old girl by a former director of Christian Youth Theater (CYT), David Hott, 36, occurred several years ago and continued for two years. A court case is being brought against him, who was also accused of sexual misconduct against another girl.

Sexual Abuse Allegations on Christian Youth Theater's Ex-Director

The organization has been running its after-school theater arts program since 1980, and it now has affiliates all around the United States. MSN reported that in recent years, the program had been the subject of criticism due to allegations made by former students and employees that various staff members sexually abused minor pupils. These allegations have led to a lawsuit against the organization and criminal proceedings against Hott and another former employee.

According to the alleged victim, who has been identified in court as Jane Doe 1, she first encountered Hott when she was ten years old at CYT, and he was perhaps 16 or 17 years old. She claimed that once she achieved her sexual maturity, Hott started making sexual comments about her. When Jane Doe 1 was 13, Hott allegedly volunteered to drive her and another girl home from a post-rehearsal supper. Accordingly, after sending the other female to her home, the former director moved away from her residence in the opposite direction and made sexual abuse her. The victim asserted that after that, he made numerous sexual attempts toward her over the subsequent two years, the most recent of which was an explicit voicemail message that he reportedly sent her when she was 15 years old, which revealed the sexual abuse activities of Hott.

As per the Times of San Diego, even though he is not currently detained, Hott appeared in court on Wednesday, Jun 21, for a preliminary hearing to establish whether or not he will be charged for the accusations. While both of the charges Hott's faces are linked with Jane Doe 1, the initial trial also contained testimony from an additional former CYT student. This witness said that when she was only 14 years old, Hott began sending sexual text messages to her, and at the time, Hott was maybe 20 or 21. The lady, known in court as Jane Doe 2, stated that this took place daily and that Hott would routinely recommend driving to her residence at midnight and taking her somewhere else so they could have intercourse. 

Also Read:Catholic Churches in California Face Thousands of Sexual Abuse Lawsuits, Allowed Victims to Sue Up to 40 Years Old

Controversy on Christian Youth Theater's Employees

An article from Peiffer Wolf stated that it is not new that the San Diego location of the CYT has been linked to allegations of sexual assault. Victims have been speaking out about it for years to bring about justice for the claimed assaults that have taken place. The San Diego branch of the nationwide organization was closed down for good in the year 2020 as a result of complaints of sexual assault made by former employees. Currently, additional victims are stepping out and pursuing justice. As mentioned, six former members have stated that the national theatrical organization and the people who founded it turned a blind eye to their concerns and several accusations from others, accusing staff members of sexual assault. Two adults were arrested and accused of sexually abusing students in October 2021.

Moreover, those who have survived sexual assault face many obstacles and repercussions, some of which might continue for years. In such circumstances, it is necessary to reach out to family and friends for support, as well as to physicians and other specialists who can assist the victims while recovering from their injuries. It is also important to hold accountable the neglectful institutions that could not create a safe environment or failed to react appropriately or follow the law after being told of the criminal activity.

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