Education

Beaufort Co. coach facing alcohol charge in dating app meetup will seek to clear record

Beaufort High School boys basketball coach William Lowther was arrested Monday and charged with providing alcohol to a minor.
Beaufort High School boys basketball coach William Lowther was arrested Monday and charged with providing alcohol to a minor. Beaufort County Detention Center

A Beaufort High School teacher and coach charged with bringing alcohol to a minor he met on a dating app will seek to have his record cleared.

Will Lowther, 33, was arrested on May 20 and charged with providing alcohol to a minor, a misdemeanor. Lowther brought two bottles of alcohol to a Beaufort home to meet someone he had messaged on a dating app in April, according to a Beaufort Police Department report.

His attorney, Maureen Coffey, told Beaufort Municipal Court Judge Ned Tupper on Thursday that Lowther plans to enter pretrial intervention. The program is for first-time offenders charged with nonviolent offenses and when completed would allow Lowther to request the charge be expunged.

Coffey and Lowther declined to comment while leaving the courthouse Thursday.

The intervention program must be completed within a year and includes a prison tour, community service and could include counseling programs specific to the charge, according to the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Under the program, Lowther would pay a $250 fee and be subject to random drug screenings.

Lowther was placed on administrative leave from his job as a physical education teacher on May 10 pending the outcome of the charge and fired from his job as boys basketball coach after his arrest, Beaufort County School District spokesman Jim Foster said last week.

Foster wasn’t immediately available to comment Thursday afternoon.

Lowther told police he represented himself on the dating app as being 25 years old and thought the person he was talking to was an 18-year-old college student visiting Beaufort from out of town. Tupper, reading from police documents in court, said the child was 14.

Lowther left the home after a Beaufort High student who lived at the home recognized him and told him to leave, the report said.

He initially denied the allegations and told police he had been watching basketball in Bluffton. But cellphone records placed him in the area of the home the same evening, the police documents say.

Lowther was hired in 2018 and coached the Eagles boys basketball team one season. Before that, he had been an assistant coach at Greenwood High School and head coach one year at South Aiken.

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