NORMAL — A first-grade teacher at Glenn Elementary School is accused of sexually assaulting at least two children since 2005 and police have acknowledged the possibility there could be more victims. McLean County Unit 5 school district placed the teacher on paid administrative leave in April, school administrators said.
Jonathan "Jon" Hovey, 47, of Forsyth, was arrested Friday night and is jailed in McLean County in lieu of posting $10,035. He was ordered to avoid contact with the people listed in the case and with anyone younger than 18, except a family member with whom contact would be allowed at the discretion of DCFS, court documents said.
Hovey is charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Attorney Tristan Bullington, who will represent Hovey, declined to comment Saturday and said Hovey also had no comment.
Hovey is scheduled for arraignment Aug. 16.
"This remains an ongoing investigation. Based on the allegations that the incidents happened in a school building, over a period of multiple years, Normal Police ask anyone who may have information concerning these investigations or believe they had inappropriate contact with Hovey to contact Detective Kendra DeRosa, (309) 454-9624, firstname.lastname@example.org," a police statement said.
"Safety of students is our top priority," said a statement issued by district spokeswoman Dayna Brown. "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."
Court documents issued Saturday 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 student. 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 student in that case, now 21, agreed to speak with police and provided substantially the same story as the more recent student.
Both said the classroom layout allowed the touching to occur out of sight of other students, and a detective verified that information during a classroom visit over the summer.
In March, the Decatur Herald & Review reported Hovey was the sole buyer of a house in Forsyth. That newspaper in May also listed his marriage had been dissolved.