Substitute Teacher Indicted Over Student Relationship

SNOW HILL — A Worcester County substitute teacher last week was indicted by a grand jury on sex offense and assault charges after allegedly fostering a relationship with a student on a popular social network.

A Worcester County grand jury last Tuesday indicted Russell Keith Barbely, Jr., 21, of Newark, on numerous charges including three counts each of third- and fourth-degree sex offense, four counts of sexual solicitation of a minor, three counts of second-degree assault and one count of the use of a computer to depict or describe a minor engaging in a sexual act following an investigation by the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI).

The investigation began on July 11 when WCBI detectives met with the juvenile female victim’s father at the Child Advocacy Center, or Cricket Center, in Berlin. According to the victim’s father, the minor met Barbely when he served as a substitute teacher at Snow Hill Middle School from last December to June. However, the allegations leading to the indictment did not occur on school property, according to police reports.

Evidence collected during the investigation suggests Barbely used Facebook to foster the relationship with the minor victim.

Barbely was taken into custody on July 27 after a search and seizure warrant was executed on his residence in Newark. He was held initially held on a $250,000 bond, but was later released on a $100,000 bond. A jury trial has already been laid in for Sept. 20.