Former deputy charged for alleged sexual misconduct with inmates

Posted at 7:59 PM, Oct 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-17 00:51:29-04

ST. GEORGE, Utah - Washington County prosecutors filed formal charges Wednesday against a former sheriff’s deputy who is accused of engaging in sexual misconduct while working at a correctional facility.

Steven Garrett Thayer, 27, was arrested Tuesday for alleged sexual misconduct while on the job.

Thayer had worked for the sheriff’s office for a little more than five years, and he was most recently stationed at Purgatory Correctional Facility. According to a probable cause statement filed during his arrest, Thayer allegedly admitted to sexual contact between him and at least one female inmate. According to the document, two other inmates confirmed the interaction.

“There were eight counts charged,” said Washington County senior deputy attorney Brian Filter. “One third-degree felony and seven class A misdemeanors, alleging that while he was employed and acting as a corrections officer at purgatory correctional facility, that he engaged in sexual acts with multiple inmates there."

Thayer is charged with one count of felony custodial sexual relations and seven counts of misdemeanor custodial sexual misconduct.

“The Class A misdemeanors allege just touching,” Filter said. “Whereas the third-degree felony alleges an actual sex act.”

The laws behind these charges are very specific to law enforcement, but Filter said they won’t view the case any different than other criminal cases.

Thayer bailed out of jail on Wednesday. He’ll likely be arraigned on those charges within the next few days.