Teacher arrested for ‘performing a medical exam’ on minor, SC cops say

A teacher at a South Carolina high school was removed from the classroom after he was arrested for sexually abusing a minor.

Emergency action was taken to suspend the teaching certificate of Robert Eugene “Gene” Valbert, according to the S.C. State Board of Education.

“It is alleged that Mr. Valbert fondled the genitals of a young male under the pretense of performing a medical exam,” on multiple occasions, according to the state board. The abuses occurred in 2016 and 2018.

Because the state board said Valbert posed “a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of students,” he is no longer teaching Health Science at Colleton County High School.

The school is located about 50 miles from Charleston in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.

“It is a top priority of the district to ensure the safety of our students and staff and we take all allegations seriously,” Colleton County Superintendent Dr. Franklin L. Foster said in a news release, WCSC reported.

The school district placed Valbert on administrative leave after he was arrested Dec. 5 by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the state board reported.

Valbert was charged with two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, according to the state board, and remains under investigation by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

It is unclear why Richland County is leading the investigation, since the high school is located approximately 100 miles from the South Carolina capital.

On his teacher-biography page, Valbert said he is also a nursing student at USC Beaufort, with the hope of transferring to the University of South Carolina’s main campus in Columbia.

In his biography, Valbert said, “Nursing, Teaching, and Ministry are major passions,” and he is a native of Colleton County.

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