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Attorney: Hovey Plans 'Vigorous Defense' Against Abuse Charges

Jonathan Hovey in court
Ryan Denham
Jonathan Hovey, left, with his attorney, Tristan Bullington, in front of Judge Scott Drazewski on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, at the McLean County Law and Justice Center.

An attorney for the first-grade teacher accused of molesting two of his students says his client is not guilty and will be mounting a vigorous defense against the charges.

Jonathan Hovey, 47, of Forsyth faces six counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and abuse stemming from allegations dating back to 2005. He pleaded not guilty Friday at his arraignment at the McLean County Law and Justice Center.

Hovey didn't speak during the arraignment. Hovey, who is out of jail on bond, wore a suit. 

"Mr. Hovey is not guilty of the charges made against him," said Hovey's attorney, Tristan Bullington. "We'll be presenting a vigorous defense to the charges. We ask that the public reserve judgment until all facts are available to them."

Authorities say Hovey molested two girls—one in 2004-05, the other in 2017-18. The older allegation was investigated back in 2005 but no charges were filed and Hovey continued to teach. The second victim stepped forward in April, and Hovey was then removed from the classroom. The first victim, now 21, was then re-interviewed, and Hovey was arrested Aug. 2.

Hovey is on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of the case. He's due back in court Sept. 24.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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