A Cincinnati judge has sentenced a student adviser to one year in prison after he pled guilty to molesting at least two boys at a school for the deaf.
Joshua Bort, 24, who worked as a resident adviser for St. Rita School for the Deaf during the 2011-2012 school year and was immediately dismissed from his position after one of the students shared information about the abuse with the school counselor.
In September in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, Bort pleaded guilty to gross sexual imposition and sexual imposition in exchange for prosecutors dropping two other similar charges. He could have faced up to two years in prison when he was sentenced Oct. 23.
"We are glad that the judge in this case decided that, rather allowing an admitted child molester to freely walk the streets, children would be safer with this predator behind bars," said Barbara Dorris, outreach director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). "By giving Josh Bort prison time instead of simply allowing him to get off with probation, the judge is sending a harsh and clear message that child abuse will not be tolerated.
"We applaud the victims in this case for speaking out against Bort and exposing his crimes. School officials at St. Rita’s should immediately seek out others who Bort may have hurt. Now that Bort is behind bars, perhaps those who were too afraid to come forward earlier will find the strength and courage to break their silence."
SNAP is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested in many institutional settings, including Scouts, camps, schools and athletic programs. Its website is SNAPnetwork.org.
A school spokesperson released this statement: "St. Rita School for the Deaf requires all employees and volunteers who work directly with children to go through a background check which includes fingerprinting. All employees and volunteers also attend a session on child protection that is conducted through the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. St. Rita School for the Deaf followed proper channels in reporting the incident including contacting the local authorities and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. St. Rita School for the Deaf believes all children have the right to be educated in a safe environment and the school thrives to make that happen for all children by providing training and support in areas of abuse to teachers and staff."