The trial for a former Crystal Lake Central choir director accused of inappropriate behavior with former students is scheduled to begin Wednesday.
Justin Hubly was charged Nov. 30, 2016, with battery and giving alcohol to a minor.
If convicted of either misdemeanor offense, Hubly would be sentenced to less than a year in prison.
Defense attorney Henry Sugden said he’ll stick to his longtime claim that many of the former students at Hubly’s former Crystal Lake home already were drunk when they arrived. Attorneys argued April 5 whether to allow into evidence an Instagram video showing some of those individuals seemingly drunk and talking about plans to visit Hubly.
McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt said he’ll rule on that video and other debated evidence as it is presented during trial.
Sugden also said some of the physical contact mentioned in criminal complaints against Hubly never happened, while other contact was consensual.
A copy of the district’s 2016 to 2019 teachers contract states that employees cannot use professional relationships with students for private advantage, and that teachers cannot accept gifts or favors that might impair or appear to influence professional decisions.
If Hubly is acquitted of the charges, he is not likely to pursue another career in teaching, Sugden said.
Hubly’s teaching license expires in June. It is unclear how a conviction of either charge potentially could affect Hubly’s standing with the Illinois State Board of Education.
Five people were subpoenaed to testify during the trial, according to McHenry County court records. Those people include another Crystal Lake Central High School teacher, former students and the parent of a minor whose name was not included in public court records.
The former choir director was arrested 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.
Hubly had worked as the school’s choir director since 2004.
He also served as student activities director, and he 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.
He earned $85,290 a year, not counting benefits, according to school records.
Hubly was suspended in October 2016 and resigned a month later.