Man wanted for aggravated criminal sexual abuse reportedly still at large

CHAMPAIGN — Police say a man wanted in connection with the fondling of an Edison Middle School student remained at large Sunday night.

A warrant was issued on Thursday for the arrest of Herbert J. Howard, 27, whose last known address was 502 S. Mattis Ave., C., for aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Judge John Kennedy set bond on Howard’s warrant at $25,000. The offense is a Class 2 felony carrying penalties ranging from probation to three to seven years in prison.

The incident allegedly happened with a 13-year-old female student at Edison, 306 W. Green St., during school hours on Nov. 8. Howard was working there as a hall monitor at the time.

State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said Howard allegedly fondled the girl over her clothing in an elevator at the school. The charge includes the element that he held a position of trust or supervision over her. Rietz said the investigation revealed the conduct happened only once.

If you have information about Howard’s whereabouts, call Champaign police at 217-351-4545 or Champaign County Crimestoppers at 217-373-8477. Information may also be left anonymously online at www.373tips.com or via cellphone text message by sending CCTIP plus the information to CRIMES (274637).

Crimestoppers will pay a reward if the information leads to an arrest.

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