STATE SUSPENDS LICENSE OF UNIT 5 TEACHER ACCUSED OF SEX CRIMES
October 30, 2019
BLOOMINGTON — The state schools superintendent has suspended the teaching license of a McLean County Unit 5 teacher accused of sex crimes.
Jonathan Hovey, who formerly taught first grade at Glenn Elementary School in Normal, is accused of sexually assaulting two students since 2005. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Hovey, of Forsyth, is accused of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, both Class X felonies, and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse (Class 2).
In September, his attorney, Tristan Bullington, said, "Mr. Hovey is not guilty of the charges made against him. ... We'll be presenting a vigorous defense to the charges. We ask that the public reserve judgment until all the facts are available to them."
Hovey has been on unpaid administrative leave from Normal-based Unit 5 since April. Police previously acknowledged the possibility there could be more victims.
Court documents say police were contacted in April by a Unit 5 representative, who relayed information about the abuse provided by the mother of the most recent victim. The mother wrote that the girl said her first-grade teacher had touched her through her clothes and also had the child touch him.
All the incidents, which totaled more than 50, occurred in the classroom, at the teacher's desk, when the child approached Hovey to turn in homework or tests or to ask questions, the document said.
As police investigated, a detective "was made aware" of similar allegations in 2005 against Hovey, although no charges were filed. The victim in that case, now 21, agreed to speak with police and provided substantially the same story as the more recent victim.
Both said the classroom layout allowed the touching to occur out of sight of other students, and a detective verified that information when he visited the classroom over the summer.
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