GHHS band assistant charged

A former part-time assistant to the Grand Haven High School Marching Band denies accusations that he had a sexual relationship with a Grand Haven High School student.
Becky Vargo
Jun 7, 2012


Justin Donald Hobeck, 27, of the 15000 block of Harry Street, faces up to two years in prison if he is found guilty of the charge levied against him.

The alleged relationship took place in the fall of 2010 when the girl played in the band during her senior year of high school, said Lt. Mark Bennett, who heads the detective bureau for the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

Bennett said an investigation revealed that the relationship between Hobeck and the 2011 GHHS graduate continued for a short time that fall, then ceased.

“Most of it was a conversational relationship over a few months,” Bennett said. “There was, at one point, some sexual contact that happened off school grounds in Northwest Ottawa County.”

Hobeck is out on bond after being charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual contact. On Wednesday, he waived his preliminary examination and was bound over to appear in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

He did not return phone messages seeking comment.

The investigation began in February after the girl confided in another student, who alerted the school district, Bennett said.

See the print or e-edition of Friday's Tribune for more details on this story.



Parent's need to have an honest sexually explicit conversation with their children as soon as the child is ready. We need to tell our children what parts of their bodies are not appropriate for ANYONE to can wash themselves at around 3-4 years of age. No one should be touching them for any reason in these areas besides a doctor (with a parent present). We need to let them know that it is okay to is AWESOME to tell!!! It is NOT their fault and they should yell and tell! Telling is good. We teach our kids not to be 'tattle tales', but sometimes telling on someone is the best thing for everyone.


ghmomma's recommendations are spot on, and should be taken to heart by all parents.

Another aspect of the issue, (and this has no reflection on the person charged because (1) he is innocent until proven guilty, and (2) he has not had an opportunity to defend himself and confront his accuser(s) in a court of law) is the number of child abuse cases attributed to teachers and school staff nationwide.

According to Charol Shakeshaft, the researcher of a 2004 study prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, almost 9.6 percent of students are subject to educator sexual misconduct, nearly 100 times the widely reported abuse by Catholic clergy.

Although there are undoubtedly many instances of unfounded charges by students, given the likely numbers of actual abused children, school systems have to do a better job of vetting teachers before they are hired, and teacher unions have to be a partner in ensuring that educator molesters are driven from the profession rather than retained due to negotiated union protections.

Mom of teens

Yes innocent until proven guilty, but if you didn't put yourself in the situation in the first place you wouldn't have these accusations against you, nor would you plead no contest!!


I agree that he is innocent until proven guilty. While she was a student under his instruction during marching band (maybe not directly), she very well could have consented. Being a senior it is probable that she was 18 at the time. And yes, she was a student, making it a legal issue, it may not have been something she thought to report because she said it was ok. It would be his responsibility to say no, due to her being a student. I'm just saying that she may not have considered it as "inappropriate" touching.


I agree!!


This is really prohibited. Good to read about this one. Their actions may affect the school as well. I hope many people will learn about this one. - Mercy Ministries

Mom of teens

Only perverts like young teen girls!! Just by looking at his picture you can tell he is not right.Sick minds do sick things!


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