Sex abuse allegations after school program
Brad Christian Davis appears in court for sentencing. Photo credit: Screen shot,

A former employee of an El-Cajon based youth theater who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing an underage student was sentenced Thursday to two years of probation.

The court also ordered Brad Christian Davis to register as a sex offender for life.

Davis, 41, pleaded guilty to a felony count of sexual penetration by a foreign object stemming from a 2010 incident, which the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office says involved a teen girl, then 16.

Deputy District Attorney Trisha Amador said the conduct between Davis and the victim stretched from 2009 until 2011, beginning when the victim was 14 and Davis was 26. The statute of limitations, thoug, prevented additional charges in the case.

Amador said Davis’ admission of guilt was “key” for the victim, more so than the sentence, in discussions that led to his guilty plea.

Last year, the DA’s Office charged Davis and another former Christian Youth Theater employee, David Hott, for alleged sexual abuse involving underage victims.

Hott, whose case remains pending, is charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child. The crime, allegedly involving a 13-year-old girl, occurred in 2007, according to prosecutors.

At Davis’ sentencing, he did not make a statement in open court, but his attorney, David P. Shapiro, said his client expressed his remorse to the victim in a letter. He had wanted to apologize to the victim sooner, but was advised by legal counsel not to reach out.

In that letter, Davis expressed “horror, dissonance and disbelief that he was capable of such hurtful and careless behavior” and told the victim “I am glad you spoke up,” according to the attorney.

Shapiro said Davis “made a series of inexcusable, terrible decisions and certainly took advantage of a position of trust and took advantage of a young individual.”

The victim, identified in court as J.D., told Davis, “I have spent years in vain imagining what it might feel like to finally receive an explanation or apology for what you’ve done … You’ve had 11 years to explain and apologize. The words you say now, no matter how earnest, I struggle to believe.”

In 2020, theater President Janie Russell Cox announced that a number of the theater’s San Diego chapters would be shut down on indefinitely following a flood of allegations posted on social media by former students and employees alleging incidents of sexual abuse.

The theater, which was founded in 1980, is an after-school arts program with affiliates across the nation.

In addition to the two criminal cases, there is a civil lawsuit against the organization. The complaint alleges that at least 10 children were sexually abused by six different adults employed by Christian Youth Theater between 1991 and 2011.

Davis and Hott are not among the employees named in the suit.

– City News Service