Sheriff Gary Gulledge said he was “disgusted” after one of his former juvenile crime detectives was arrested and charged with child molestation Monday, Nov. 25.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Steve Sorrells, 48, and charged him with two counts of child molestation and one count of violating his oath of office.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ashley Henson confirmed a report that Sorrells was arrested on charges he molested two teen girls.
However, Henson confirmed the sheriff’s office had no evidence any victims in law enforcement cases were involved but were continuing to investigate and could file more charges.
Gulledge said the 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,” Gulledge said.
“This type of behavior will not be condoned in our office nor in any law enforcement agency in the country,” Gulledge said.
“Our focus is on the victims in this case; we want to make sure they get the justice and compassion they deserve,” he said.
Sorrells was employed as a detective and assigned to the Juvenile Investigations Division. He had worked for the Paulding sheriff’s office for more than five years.
The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office asked GBI agents to begin investigating Sorrells Nov. 14 “after an allegation of inappropriate sexual contact with a minor was made to the sheriff’s office,” a GBI news release stated.
“Sorrells was immediately placed on administrative leave at the onset of the investigation and was terminated from employment upon his arrest,” the release stated.
Henson said Sorrells was removed from all official duties as a detective after being placed on paid administrative leave.
On Monday, Nov. 25, Sorrells went to the Sheriff’s Office to speak with agents regarding the incident, Henson said.
“As a result of that meeting, he was subsequently arrested. As soon as he was arrested, he was terminated as an employee of the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office,” Henson said.
Sorrells was taken into custody Monday, Nov. 25, and booked at the Paulding County jail without incident, the GBI release stated.
However, Henson said, “Since he was an employee of the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office prior to his arrest, Sorrells was transferred to a neighboring agency where he is being held with no bond.”
Sorrells had been employed with the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office since July 2014 and “did not have any history of disciplinary action in his personnel file prior to this incident,” Henson said.
Those with information about the investigation were urged to contact the GBI at 706-624-1424.