UPDATED: Ex-Unit 5 teacher charged with molesting two first-graders

A long-time Unit 5 teacher is charged in McLean County Court with sexually molesting two first-grade students. (Photo McLean County Sheriff’s Office)

 

By Howard Packowitz

NORMAL – A former first grade teacher at Unit 5’s Glenn Elementary School remained jailed Monday morning for allegedly molesting two students, while Normal Police investigate whether there are other victims.

Jonathon Hovey, 47, of Forsyth, has to post $10,035 cash to be released on bond after being charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

If Hovey is let go, he can not have contact with the two victims, or anyone younger than 18, except his own daughter. His next court appearance is August 16.

McLean County prosecutors told a judge Saturday that a child’s mother emailed Unit 5 in April claiming her daughter disclosed she had been abused.

The girl told authorities inappropriate touching happened almost every day, or more than 50 times.

Police then reopened a 2005 case involving a first grader who made similar claims against Hovey. He was not charged at the time.

Prosecutors said the two alleged victims gave similar accounts of the abuse, including how Hovey positioned his desk so that other students in the class could not see what was happening.

Authorities are asking anyone who believe they may have had inappropriate contact with Hovey to call Normal Police Det. Kendra DeRosa at 309-454-9624. Det. DeRosa can also be reached at kderosa@normal.org.

Meantime, Unit 5 spokesperson Dayna Brown issued a statement over the weekend, saying administrators immediately contacted Normal Police and placed Hovey on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Hovey has not been allowed back in the school since then, according to Brown.

Brown added Hovey underwent a thorough background check like all other district employees.

Here is Unit 5’s statement:

“When district officials first learned of the allegations in April 2019, administrators immediately contacted the Normal Police Department and the Department of Children and Family Services.

Mr. Hovey was immediately placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. He has not been allowed back to the school since. Mr. Hovey has been employed by Unit 5 for 18 years at Glenn Elementary School.

As is a requirement for all employees, he underwent a thorough background check. The district is working closely with authorities to cooperate in the investigation of this case. We understand that these allegations are very disturbing and Unit 5 will support our families. Parents should contact the principal if they have any school-related questions.”

Howard Packowitz can be reached at howard.packowitz@cumulus.com

 

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