Ex-Newberry First Board Member Denied Pre-Trial Release; Pleads Not Guilty

Ex-Newberry First Board Member Denied Pre-Trial Release; Pleads Not Guilty

Joel Searby, a former board member of Education First for Newberry, had a pretrial hearing this morning. He pleaded not guilty, and the state attorney's request for pre-trial detention was approved.

Searby was arrested on June 20 and charged with two counts of obscene communication, one count of lewd/lascivious behavior, and one count of using a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony. 

Searby’s arrest report shows he attempted to sexually coerce a teenage neighbor for sex using snapchat. Searby attempted to have the 15-year old boy’s parents believe their child was at his house doing yard work. 

According to the arrest report Searby asked if “his wife would be told about this.” 

Education First for Newberry said in a statement on Facebook that the organization is “deeply troubled by the arrest of Joel Searby. The allegations against him are gravely serious and contrary to our core values as an organization. We immediately severed all ties with him upon learning of this incident. We will fully cooperate with law enforcement and be of any assistance we can during this difficult time. The safety of our children is and will always be our #1 priority.” 

Education First for Newberry restricted the public from commenting on the Facebook post. 

Searby had numerous websites and blogs to promote himself. Most of them have been made private or taken off the internet. 

Updated June 27 | Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe made a post about his feelings regarding Searby's arrest on Facebook.

Editor’s Notes | Messages sent by the victim have been redacted.

Searby’s address was redacted to protect the neighbor’s address.

Jack Walden

Jack Walden

Jack Walden is the creator of Gnvinfo and a 2nd year journalism major at Santa Fe College. From general information, to exposing falsehoods and corruption, Jack seeks to deliver the truth.
Gainesville, FL