CRYSTAL LAKE – A trial for a former Crystal Lake Central High School choir director facing misdemeanor charges will happen later than expected so the prosecution can meet with more witnesses.
A bench trial for Justin Hubly, 36, of the 300 block of Hambletonian Drive, Oak Brook, was scheduled for Dec. 28 and 29. Hubly is charged with inappropriately touching former Crystal Lake Central students and giving them alcohol.
During a hearing Thursday, McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Brette Dunbar asked Judge Robert Wilbrandt for more time to interview three defense witnesses she only recently learned about.
In a motion filed Wednesday, Dunbar said she believes defense attorney Henry Sugden planned to call the witnesses to speak about “irrelevant and improper character evidence.”
Dunbar said she learned about the witnesses when they called the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office after being subpoenaed.
Dunbar declined to comment further.
The three witnesses are not alleged victims, Sugden said.
The attorney only had planned to call them to testify in the event that any false information was presented during trial, Sugden said.
“We’re sorry to have the case continued,” Sugden said. “Mr. Hubly wants his day in court and wants this case resolved, but I understand the judge has to do what he has to do.”
Wilbrandt wasn’t keen on the idea of moving back the trial date, but said it ultimately is the ethical decision.
“I’m sorry that this case can’t go forward,” Wilbrandt said. “Believe me, I want it to go forward, too.”
The case will reconvene Thursday, at which point attorneys hope to set a new trial date.
Hubly was charged Nov. 30, 2016, after claims 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.
Sugden has said the accusations are exaggerated and that some of the contact was consensual.
Hubly had worked as the school’s choir director since 2004.
He also served as student activities director and has spent five terms as president of the District 155 Education Association, which represents teachers at all four of the schools in Community High School District 155.