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Buckingham Township retired choir director Joseph Ohrt has been arrested and charged after being accused of placing hidden cameras in one of the bedrooms in his house to record a prior student as he changed. The arrest was made on Tuesday, February 8th, 2022 following a charge against the invasion of privacy and tampering with physical evidence.

Ohrt was also charged with four counts of possession, distribution, and manufacturing different types of telecommunication recognition devices as well as one count of interception and disclosure of either electronic and/or oral devices for communication purposes.

Accusations against the former choir director of Central Bucks West High School were underway after a previous graduate of Central Bucks came forward and filed a complaint against Ohrt. The past student had been seeing Ohrt as a mentor to help compose music during his junior year of high school and allegedly had several conflicted and uncomfortable interactions with the former choir director.

FBI and Police Confiscate Evidence From Home

According to investigators, on September 30th, detectives attempted to visit Ohrts home in Buckingham Township but were unsuccessful in speaking with him. Almost a month after, a roommate of Ohrt’s brought personal property of his to the police station after being asked to destroy it. Ultimately, the laptop in possession was tampered with according to the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory, but the evidence was able to be extracted nevertheless.

Evidence showed a former student secretly being recorded from their bedroom in Ohrt’s home, getting undressed and fully exposed according to police officials.

Detectives are still reviewing evidence and the investigation is still ongoing.

Legal Recourse Available For Victims of Sexual Exploitation

We recently sat down with Pennsylvania sexual assault lawyer David Petrone of Justice Guardians, a PA based law firm. David shared some of his thoughts on the legal recourse available to victims of sexual assault and exploitation.

Laurence – What are the legal rights available for a sexual exploitation victim in Pennsylvania?

David – It’s important to note that victims of any sort of sexual assault, exploitation, or abuse may have grounds to file lawsuits against a school organization in addition to the perpetrator. This civil lawsuit would claim that the school was negligent in preventing the assault. This could be due to a failure to adopt safety measures like background checks or a failure to report allegations of misbehavior to authorities.

Laurence – What damages can be recovered in a sexual assault lawsuit?

David –The victim and their family may be entitled to financial compensation. This might be used to cover a variety of things, including the rehabilitation required following such a tragic incident.

Laurence – Why should victims and their families talk to a sexual abuse attorney?

David –In addition to being emotionally draining, the regulations governing sexual assault cases are quite complicated. An experienced sexual assault lawyer can assist victims in exploring their legal alternatives after a thorough legal examination.

Sources:

NBC Philadelphia

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