Suspect in Hobart sex case was convicted in school bus crimes

2013-06-12T18:30:00Z 2013-06-13T12:44:12Z Suspect in Hobart sex case was convicted in school bus crimesDeborah Laverty, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223

HOBART | Police said a Hobart man caught exposing himself and shooting photos up a woman's skirt recently at a Hobart department store was convicted three years ago for repeatedly terrorizing students on a Portage school bus.

Ashley Javon Toney, 21, of 17 N. Michigan Ave., was charged Monday in Lake Criminal Court with one count of sexual battery, three counts of public indecency, public voyeurism and public nudity in connection with the department store incident.

Toney, who is being held in Lake County Jail without bond, was arrested by Hobart police Saturday after he had been observed on surveillance cameras at Kohl's in Hobart exposing himself, shooting photos up a woman's skirt and touching an employee's buttocks with his genitals, police said.

The June 8 incidents involving sexual battery charges weren't his first, police said.

Police said Toney was the ringleader of three Portage teens who repeatedly terrorized students on a Portage school bus during most of the 2008-09 school year.

Toney, then 18 and a resident of Portage, was found guilty in August 2010 of exposing himself and repeatedly fondling two female students on the bus.

Toney, who served two years in jail in that case, was required by Porter County to register as a sex offender following his conviction on two felony counts of sexual battery for repeatedly fondling two female students between Nov. 1, 2008, and Feb. 6, 2009.

Toney also was found guilty of felony criminal confinement for placing his legs across the aisle of the bus and preventing a female student from leaving for a few minutes.

And the jury convicted Toney of misdemeanor counts of public indecency for exposing himself on numerous occasions and of criminal recklessness for lighting a piece of paper on fire onboard the bus.

This past November, while a resident of Gary, Toney also was charged in Lake Criminal Court with attempted sexual misconduct with a minor following an incident in a Lake Station park, police said.

A 14-year-old girl told police Toney asked her to touch him intimately even though she said no. She also told police Toney unbuttoned her pants and tried to pull them down.

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