NORMAL — A first grade teacher from Forsyth working in Normal is accused of sexually assaulting at least two children since 2005.
Jonathan "Jon" Hovey, 47, 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 the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, court documents said.
Hovey is charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
He taught at Glenn Elementary School in Normal and was placed on paid administrative leave in April, school administrators said.
A lawyer for Hovey was not immediately available to comment about the charges on Saturday. A booking photo also was not available Saturday.
In March, the Herald & Review reported Hovey was the sole buyer of a house in Forsyth.
"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, email@example.com," a police statement said.
"Safety of students is our top priority," McLean Unit 5 school district spokeswoman Dayna Brown said in a 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."
Court documents issued Saturday said a mother of one of the children contacted Unit 5. The school district in April provided that information to police. The mother said that the girl said her first-grade teacher had touched her through her clothes and also had the child touch him, according to the documents.
All of 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 person in that case, now 21, agreed to speak with police and provided substantially the same story as the other student, the documents said.
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, according to the documents.