Suburban Express owner found not guilty of harassing UI student

Suburban Express owner found not guilty of harassing UI student

The focus now turns to a civil case in Cook County in the dispute between a Champaign bus company owner and a former University of Illinois student.

A Lake County judge on Wednesday found Suburban Express owner Dennis Toeppen not guilty on two misdemeanor charges of electronic harrassment.  Toeppen was accused of harassing then-UI student Jeremy Leval online.

Leval's father Alain, who's an attorney, said multiple prosecutors were in and out on the case.  And he said that hindered the prosecution.

Toeppen was arrested in Champaign County in July of 2014.  Police said Leval contacted authorities and reported that Toeppen was harassing him on the website Reddit and on the Suburban Express website.  Police said the harassment stemmed from a bus ride that Leval took where he witnessed the bus driver yell at another customer.  Leval spread the word about the incident online, prompting the alleged harrassment.

Toeppen and Leval are also pitted against each other in a civil case in Cook County, where Leval accuses Toeppen of defamation of character.

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