Former band assistant enters plea in sex case

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:44 AM

Justin Donald Hobeck, 28, of the 15000 block of Harry St. in Grand Haven Township, entered the no-contest plea Monday to fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.

The alleged relationship between Hobeck and the student took place in the fall of 2010 when the girl was a marching band member during her senior year, said Lt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department. Bennett said an investigation revealed that the relationship between Hobeck and the girl 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 now faces up to one year in jail. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 29.

The investigation began in February after the girl — who graduated in 2011 — confided in another student, who alerted the school district, Bennett said.

“Although we could not substantiate (the rumors) at the time, we were concerned enough to turn it over to the Sheriff’s Department,” said Grand Haven Area Public Schools Superintendent Keith Konarska.

The district also immediately terminated its relationship with Hobeck, who was a part-time assistant for the marching band. Konarska emphasized that Hobeck was not a school employee, but that he was paid on a contractual basis when he worked with the band. He had been working with the band and drum line for about five years.

“Clearly, we are deeply concerned,” Konarska said. “Student safety is our top priority.”

Hobeck is a 2002 graduate of Grand Haven High School, where he also participated in band. 

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