A Georgia grand jury indicted Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby this week for sexual battery, false imprisonment and violation of oath of office after he ordered a school-wide search of hundreds of high school students, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Deputies allegedly touched girls’ vaginas and breasts and groped boys in their groin area during the search at Worth County High School April 14. Two of Hobby’s deputies were also indicted. The controversial search drew national attention because of its scope and how deputies conducted it under the guise of a drug search that produced no drugs or arrests. Deputies locked down the school for more than four hours and searched nearly 800 students.
The indictment accuses Hobby of one count of violating his oath of office and two counts of false imprisonment — all felony charges. He was also indicted on one count of sexual battery, a misdemeanor. In addition to the criminal case, the sheriff is facing a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in June by nine students who were subjected to the invasive searches. One of the parents of the students said Wednesday she was glad the sheriff now also faces accountability in criminal court. The deputy who allegedly touched her daughter’s vagina through her jean pockets and lifted up her bra and touched her breasts was mentioned in the indictment, but grand jurors did not implicate her.