Utah jailer arrested, suspected of sex with inmates in Purgatory

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A Washington County corrections officer has been arrested on suspicion of having sexual contact with inmates at the Purgatory Correctional Facility.

Steven Garrett Thayer, 27, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of seven misdemeanor counts of custodial sexual misconduct and one felony count of custodial sexual relations, according to jail documents. Thayer had posted bond as of Tuesday afternoon.

"We feel very badly when any employee breaks the public trust associated with their position," said Washington County sheriff's spokesman Nate Abbott. "We've taken decisive action, and we can say at this time that Mr. Thayer is no longer an employee of the county."

In 2006, two other former jail guards pleaded guilty to misdemeanor custodial sexual relations after being accused of having sex with inmates in the Purgatory jail.