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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Two former employees of the El-Cajon based Christian Youth Theater pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony charges alleging they sexually abused underage students in the program.

Brad Christian Davis, 40, and David Hott, 34, are charged in separate incidents involving two different underage girls. Both men remain out of custody on $100,000 bail.

Davis is charged with sexual penetration by a foreign object for an alleged 2010 incident involving a 16-year-old girl, while Hott is charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child involving a 13-year-old girl, which allegedly occurred in 2007.

During the defendant’s brief arraignments in San Diego Superior Court on Thursday, no additional details were disclosed regarding the alleged offenses. Both men were ordered not to contact or come within 100 yards of the alleged victims.

If convicted, Hott faces up to 10 years in prison, and Davis faces up to three years.

Though both alleged incidents go back more than a decade, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said it was able to file charges through a law that provides a longer statute of limitations, under certain circumstances.

In 2020, Christian Youth Theater President Janie Russell Cox announced that a number of the theater’s San Diego chapters would be shut down on an indefinite basis 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 theater arts program with affiliates across the nation.

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