Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Recent allegations have come to light that Joseph Ohrt, a former choir instructor employed by the Central Bucks School District for over three decades, engaged in explicit sexual activity involving minors in his care. So far, two victims have come forward, but experience tells us that unfortunately, many more are likely to follow.
For those who were subjected to Ohrt’s alleged predatory behavior, legal options for obtaining justice may be available. While criminal charges have already been filed against Ohrt, victims and their families can benefit from filing civil suits. These cases can be filed not just against Ohrt but also the administration that allowed him to continue working with minors even after the allegations were reported.
If you were the victim of sexual advances by Joseph Ohrt or any other Central Bucks School District employee, we urge you to reach out to the Pennsylvania institutional sexual assault lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin. We offer all victims who call our offices at (814) 826-3586 a discrete initial case assessment for no charge.
Former Central Bucks Choir Teacher Arrested on Charges of Sex Crimes Involving Students
Last month, the Central Bucks Regional Police Department arrested Joseph Ohrt, 56, on accusations that the choir instructor used a hidden camera to record a former student undressing at his home. Since then, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office has announced that two former students have come forward with accusations that Ohrt molested them while they were students in the 1990’s.
One alleged victim claims that he was assaulted while Ohrt was teaching at Linden Elementary School during the 1991-92 school year. Ohrt sought the victim out with an offer to assist him privately with piano lessons. During the session, Ohrt allegedly had the victim sit on his lap and touched the victim underneath his clothes.
The incident was reported to the school by the victim and his mother. However, rather than being terminated, Ohrt was transferred to Central Bucks West High School. This is where Ohrt met the second accuser. According to allegations, the second accuser was 13 when he was babysitting for Ohrt at his home in Doylestown. One time, when Ohrt returned home, the accuser claims that Ohrt made unwanted sexual advances, even when the accuser attempted to pull away.
Ohrt has been an employed faculty member of the Central Bucks School District since 1987 and has now been placed on leave. Since Ohrt started at the district, he has taught at the following eight schools:
- Central Bucks West High School
- Linden Elementary School
- Kutz Elementary School
- Buckingham Elementary School
- Doyle Elementary School
- Gayman Elementary School
- Unami Middle School
- Tamanend Middle School
Ohrt is charged with indecent assault of a person under 14, indecent assault of a person under 16, and two counts of corruption of a minor. He was arraigned and placed in the custody of the Bucks County Prison on 10% of $100,000 bail.
Legal Justice for Bucks County Victims of Joseph Ohrt
At The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, our Pennsylvania sexual abuse attorneys have years of experience dealing with situations like this. What we have observed time after time is that a faculty member who engages in this type of insidious behavior often has multiple victims. This is particularly likely in situations where the faculty member has served as long of a tenure as Ohrt, who continued to hold a post within the school district even after his sexual misconduct was reported.
Therefore, it is safe to assume that there are other victims out there. If you were the target of inappropriate sexual advances or contact by Joseph Ohrt, we urge you to reach out to our Pennsylvania institutional sexual assault attorneys as soon as possible, who will work tirelessly and discretely to ensure that you obtain justice.
Differences Between Criminal Charges and Institutional Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuits for Victims
When we talk about justice, we are not only referring to criminal sentencing against the predator. While criminal prosecution of sexual predators aims to put them behind bars and prevent them from harming others, it does not compensate the victims themselves or punish the people who enabled the predator.
The best way to pursue your own form of recovery for the harms to which you were subjected is through a civil lawsuit against the school district. Institutions that take calculated steps to cover up sexual abuse from authorities may be liable for the damages that they cause. These individuals may also be charged criminally with child endangerment.
When a school district receives reports of sexual misbehavior of a faculty member like Ohrt, they are responsible for investigating the matter further and alerting the proper authorities. However, all too often, the administration will attempt to conceal the issue by moving the perpetrator to a different post, as the Central Bucks School District allegedly did with Ohrt.
If a victim can show that the institution could and should have prevented their traumatic experience from occurring, they could seek monetary damages from the institution itself. These cases are typically more fruitful than cases against the perpetrator themselves, as they might not have the ability to pay the damages that the victim is rightfully owed.
When something as unfortunate and unfair as child molestation occurred, the institution that permitted the abuse should face heavy scrutiny. Our dedicated Pennsylvania institutional sexual assault lawyers will work with you to evaluate your case and ensure that those responsible face the consequences.
We Want Justice for the Bucks County Victims of Joseph Ohrt
To discuss your opportunities for legal recovery today for free, call the experienced Pennsylvania institutional sexual assault attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586.