By JUSTIN JARRETT
Former Beaufort High School varsity boys basketball coach Will Lowther provided alcohol to a minor when the two met up after chatting on a social networking and dating app, according to a Beaufort Police Department report obtained by LowcoSports.com.
Lowther was dismissed from his coaching position and placed on administrative leave from his role as a physical education teacher at BHS following his arrest Monday. He is charged with the transfer of alcohol to a minor.
According to the report, the incident occurred April 6, when Lowther and a minor visiting from Aiken agreed to meet up after messaging one another on the app throughout the afternoon. Lowther arrived at a Beaufort residence with two bottles of liquor but stayed only a short time before a minor female who lives at the residence told him to leave.
All names other than Lowther’s were redacted from the police report.
During his first interview with Beaufort Police, Lowther denied the incident occurred and claimed he did not have an account on the app in question. He also provided a detailed account of his activity and whereabouts that day, most of which was corroborated during the investigation. Cell phone records, however, placed Lowther in the Mossy Oaks neighborhood of Beaufort from 6:30-7 p.m., when he claimed to be at home or en route to Bluffton with a friend. When met with that evidence, the report says Lowther “appeared to be defeated” and asked to speak to an attorney before continuing the interview.
At a second interview with his attorney present, the report says Lowther admitted to police he had “engaged in conversation with someone he thought was 18 years old and was in college” and taken two bottles of liquor to the residence to meet up.
Upon hearing an adult male’s voice from the bedroom, the minor who lives at the house — a student at BHS — entered the living room and asked Lowther to leave. The second minor recognized Lowther as a teacher from the school.
Lowther told police he claimed to be 25 — he is 33 — in his account on the app.
Lowther is scheduled for a municipal court date May 30.
Justin Jarrett is the editor of LowcountrySports.com and the sports editor of The Island News.