Sentencing continued for musical director convicted of inappropriate behavior with former students: lawyer says client was “popular teacher”

Sentencing for a former Crystal Lake high school musical director found guilty of making unwanted advances on two former female students and providing alcohol to minors, who also were formerly his students, was continued Friday at his attorney’s request.

Justin Hubly, 36, was found guilty last month at the conclusion of a a bench trial before McHenry County judge Robert Wilbrandt. He was convicted of misdemeanor battery involving two separate females who had previously been his students at Crystal Lake Central High School. The judge also found Hubly guilty of providing alcohol to the same females and others at parties in Hubly’s then Crystal Lake home.

On Friday with a courtroom packed with his accusers as well as several ex-students there to support him, his attorney Henry Sugden asked for continuance to allow time for a pre-sentencing investigation, a rare request in a misdemeanor case. Sugden also asked the judge to read 23 support letters that Hubly has received in recent weeks. Sugden said the letters have been coming in from “all over the country” from Hubly’s ex students and former colleagues.

At the time of the offenses for which he was found guilty the individuals were no longer his students, Sugden has argued repeatedly. He said because they were no longer his students school officials, who learned of the encounters and called police, should never have been involved.

Sugden also said that it was the students who initiated contact with Hubly, “a popular teacher,” and often brought their own alcohol to his home.

During the trial the two women at the center of the battery charges each testified that they had graduated high school in 2014. On separate occasions in 2016 while home on breaks from college they each had gone to his home. Each female said Hubly gave them tequila and other alcoholic drinks and made unwanted advances toward them.

Outside the courtroom on Friday parents of the accusers, who once loved and supported Hubly, said they were “furious” that Hubly was allowed an extension on his sentencing.

Wilbrandt wrote that “…crossed the sometimes blurry line between being a friendly mentor and becoming and active participant in his es-students socially questionably activities.”

Prosecutors have said he faces a sentence from probation up to one year in jail.
Sentencing has been rescheduled for 1:30 July 6.

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