Robert Eugene Valbert, a teacher at a South Carolina high school, was arrested for alleged sexual conduct with a minor. The school board also suspended his teaching license. Here’s more on Valbert’s charges and his family’s response.
He Is Accused of Sexual Conduct
Robert Eugene “Gene” Valbert, a health sciences teacher at Colleton County High School, was arrested on two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor. The district put him on administrative leave after his arrest.
The South Carolina State Board of Education stated in a press release that it took immediate action regarding his arrest. The State Board suspended his teaching license on December 7.
According to the suspension documents, the Richland County Sheriff’s Office charged him with sexual abuse on December 5, 2018 for two incidents that occurred in 2016 and 2018, respectively. “It is alleged that Mr. Valbert, fondled the genitals of a young male under the pretense of performing a medical exam,” the documents read.
After considering the evidence, the school authorities found Valbert “may pose a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of students who may be under his instruction.” As such, the board suspended his educator certificate until the matter is resolved.
He’s a Registered Nurse
Gene Valbert hails from Cottageville, South Carolina and graduated from Walterboro High School in 2002. He acquired his associate’s degree in nursing from Trident Technical College in 2012 and went on to complete his bachelors in nursing from the University of South Carolina in 2017.
He received his license as a Registered Nurse upon acquiring his associate’s degree. He had planned to pursue his master’s degree in the fall of 2018.
According to his profile on the school web site, he completed his Certified Nursing Assistant Certification from Thunderbolt Career and Technology Center (TCTC) in 2002. According to his LinkedIn page, he has been employed at Colleton Medical Center since 2002.
His employers at Colleton Medical Center haven’t made a public statement about his arrest.
He Has Been Teaching at the School for a Year
Valbert started his new job as a health science teacher at Colleton County High School in July 2017. He has no prior experience in teaching, although he’s been in the medical field since 2002.
The school web site states he’s one of three health science instructors at the school. “Nursing, Teaching, and Ministry are major passions of mine,” he states in his profile.
Additionally, Valbert is also active in his local church community’s youth ministry as a youth pastor.
His Family Members Deny the Allegations
Valbert’s mother, Kathy Huggins Gaskins, and his sisters, Elizabeth Gilreath and Alicia Valbert Gibson, responded to Valbert’s arrest on their respective Facebook pages, which now appear to be deactivated. Valbert’s family claimed the allegations are false and have welcomed all the prayers and support to them.
“I just want my and my families side of the story stated….The story you’re seeing/hearing is happening! The allegations have been made! The false statements /false allegations will soon be revealed! We ask those of you who will join us in praising through our storm to please join us and we sincerely thank each one of you! Those of you who want to believe or make negative statements please keep them behind our backs… fore that is where they belong, [sic]” read part of Kathy Gaskins’ post.
Valbert’s sisters shared a series of similar posts denying the accusations against him. In one post, they wrote, “It’s is a sad day and time we’re living in when someone can falsely accuse a person out of retaliation and think they’ve gotten away with it….. once you’ve ruined a persons reputation its over for them in most cases…..[sic]”
This is a developing case as authorities are currently investigating the charges against Gene Valbert. The sheriff’s department and Valbert’s family haven’t disclosed further details about the charges against him. We will continue to update this story as more information comes in.