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Charges Dropped Against Former Unit 5 Teacher

Jonathan Hovey in court
Ryan Denham
Jonathan Hovey, left, during a court hearing in August 2019.

UPDATED 2:25 p.m. | Charges accusing a former Unit 5 first-grade teacher of sexually assaulting two children were dismissed Tuesday by the state.

Jonathan Hovey, 48, of Forsyth, was a teacher at Glenn Elementary School before he was placed on administrative leave in April 2019.

Charges alleged Hovey sexually assaulted two minors since 2005. Charges of predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse were filed in August 2019. He pleaded not guilty, and his attorney said he planned to mount a vigorous defense.

Assistant State's Attorney Erica Reynolds said after a brief hearing that the unavailability of a witness was the reason for dropping the charges.

“After analyzing the entire case and the investigation, both witnesses are unavailable at this time. Charges could be refiled at any time,” said Reynolds.

Defense lawyer Tristan Bullington declined to comment. Pending at the time of the dismissal was a defense motion to dismiss the charges.

This story will be updated.

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Edith began her career as a reporter with The DeWitt County Observer, a weekly newspaper in Clinton. From 2007 to June 2019, Edith covered crime and legal issues for The Pantagraph, a daily newspaper in Bloomington, Illinois. She previously worked as a correspondent for The Pantagraph covering courts and local government issues in central Illinois.
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