A sheriff’s deputy from Paulding County, Georgia was fired and arrested Monday on child molestation charges.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), 48-year-old Steve Sorrells, also faces a count of violation of oath of office.
Sorrells was a detective in the sheriff’s office’s juvenile investigation division. Investigators began looking into Sorrells and asked the GBI to open an investigation after receiving an allegation of inappropriate sexual contact with a minor.
In February of last year, Sorrells was teaching kids how to avoid child predators online. This detective, whose job consisted of working with children taught Internet Safety Day to children at Rockmart Middle School. Then, in November 2018 he was presented the Commissioner’s Public Safety Award in Paulding County for his efforts of keeping local children safe.
A year after receiving an award for keeping children safe, Sorrells has been arrested for allegedly preying on children.
According to spokesman Sgt. Ashley Henson, Sorrells met with agents at the sheriff’s office about the incident on Monday morning.
The specific information the GBI and the sheriff’s office learned that lead to the investigation has not yet been released to the public.
Sorrells was booked into the Paulding County jail and then transferred to a neighboring agency, where he is being held with no bond, Henson said.
“I am disgusted that one of our own has been arrested and charged with child molestation,” Paulding Sheriff Gary Gulledge said. “This type of behavior will not be condoned in our office nor in any law enforcement agency in the county. Our focus is on the victims in this case; we want to make sure they get the justice and compassion they deserve. This incident has tarnished the badge that we all wear so proudly. We will do everything in our power to assist the GBI during this investigation.”
Sorrells had been employed with the sheriff’s office since July 2014, Henson said. He was placed on administrative leave at the beginning of the investigation and then fired upon his arrest.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the GBI at 706-624-1424.