A Unit 5 elementary school teacher, Johnathon Hovey, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of predatory and aggravated criminal sexual assault and abuse, all the accusers are under 13 years old.
Unit 5 administration has said the accused teacher has taught at Glen Elementary for 18 years and was placed on paid administrative leave once they found out about the most recent accusations in April.
After a months long investigation, Normal Police arrested Hovey on Friday on two counts of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault with the victim under the age of 13, and four counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse with the victim under the age of 13.
McLean County Unit 5 administrators contacted police after a parent reported their daughter’s first grade teacher, Hovey, inappropriately touched her multiple times.
“Throughout the course of that investigation we realized that the allegations were similar to a prior case that was back in 2005, so that one was reopened and they were investigated jointly.” said Chief Rick Bleichner of the Normal Police Department
Those 2005 accusations involved a first grade girl who said she was also touched by Hovey in an inappropriate way.
Both girls say the incidents happened in a school building.
Cinnamon Porter with the McLean county YWCA said most cases of sexual violence to children are done by someone they know, that’s why they teach sexual violence education at Unit 5 schools already via Erin’s law.
“Especially with children when most often it’s an adult that’s a perpetrator of the sexual violence and so that imbalance of power makes it very difficult for children to come forward.” said Porter
In response to the arrest Unit 5 said they cooperated with police in the 2005 case, but charges were never filed and Hovey remained an employee.
You can find their full statement here.
YWCA said parents should talk to their kids about what type of touching is ok and no ok and practice speaking up.
“If you are unsure about if that touch is unsafe if it gives you an icky feeling on the inside, makes you feel weird, that you need to tell them no, get away, and then find a trusted adult to tell.” said Porter
Chief Rick Bleichner said since Friday they have received more information from the public about the case, but cannot go into detail yet.
Normal Police said if you have any information regarding this case that you think might be helpful no matter how small to please contact them. Detective Kendra DeRosa is the one handling this case you can reach the detective at (309) 454-9624, or firstname.lastname@example.org.