WOODSTOCK – A former Crystal Lake Central choir director accused of inappropriately touching former students and giving them alcohol is asking a judge to reconsider a previous ruling and dismiss the charges brought against him based on information he provided during a school district investigation.
Justin Hubly, 35, was arrested Nov. 30, more than a month after allegations surfaced that he had former students at his house on several occasions, gave them alcohol when they were younger than 21 and had inappropriate contact with two of them.
He faces misdemeanor charges of battery and delivery of alcohol to a minor, and could face up to a year in jail if convicted.
Hubly had been the school’s choir director since 2004 until he was suspended in October and resigned in November.
Hubly’s defense lawyer, Hank Sugden, filed a motion earlier this year to suppress any evidence gathered during an interview Oct. 19 between Hubly and Randy Davis, assistant superintendent of human resources for School District 155, because Hubly signed a document that gave him immunity from criminal prosecution.
Sugden said his client provided information that helped police investigate the case and later charge his client. He said police wouldn’t have had the information without the interview with District 155 officials.
Judge Joel Berg ruled in April that he would bar statements Hubly made to Davis from being used at trial, but would allow all other admissible evidence the state had, including the testimony of former students who spoke with district officials.
Berg said the district knew details about the case before speaking to Hubly, and therefore did not solely rely on what he told them to move forward with the criminal investigation.
In his motion to reconsider, filed July 5, Sugden argued that any charge not connected to what the former student initially came forward about should be dismissed because that information was the only thing known by the school before Hubly signed the at-will notice and spoke with school officials.
He said district officials asked about other incidents during the October interviews, after he already had signed the notice that gave him immunity from criminal prosecution.
On Oct. 15, a former student told a teacher that there had been inappropriate behavior between Hubly and former students.
Eleven days later, District 155 officials reported the matter to Crystal Lake police.
Prosecutors said that between June 1, 2016, and July 31, 2016, Hubly inappropriately touched a former student and gave her alcohol when she was underage.
Police also said that on Oct. 7, Hubly inappropriately touched another former student and gave that student alcohol.
Prosecutors also have charged Hubly with giving alcohol to three other former students on Dec. 30, 2015. The students were younger than 21 at the time, according to court records.
Hubly was interviewed by Davis on Oct. 19 and 20.
He confirmed that he had had former students at his home, they had consumed alcohol, and he had kissed a former student, Davis said.
In their response, prosecutors said they still should be allowed to prosecute Hubly on each charge because they have evidence independent of the interview between Hubly and Davis. Assistant State’s Attorney Taylor Nesbitt said the school district was aware of the former student who came forward before speaking with Hubly, and that student told officials other instances that occurred.
None of that information came from Hubly’s statements during the October meetings, Nesbitt said.
“The state is in the same position now as if the interviews with the defendant had never taken place,” Nesbitt said in her motion.
Berg will issue a written decision on the matter Aug. 25.