Allegations of “sexual exploitation of a minor” are always alarming, but they are even more so when made against law enforcement officers who’ve been sworn to protect and serve the people.

However, on Friday, Oct.  7, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department announced that one of its deputies had been fired as the result of an investigation of what allegedly occurred in neighboring Davidson County.

According to a press release from Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers, Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Surratt was terminated from his employment with the department on Oct. 7. That decision came after a criminal investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).

Surratt was arrested on the charges in mid-September.

There are no public indications of similar allegations in Guilford County. All the alleged violations occurred in Davidson County in December 2021.

The report from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department states that orders for arrest were issued in Davidson County – alleging that Surratt committed a total of eight counts of violating state law regarding Third-Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (North Carolina General Statute 14-190.17A.)

According to that criminal statute, “[a] person [allegedly] commits the offense of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor if, knowing the character or content of the material, he possesses material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual activity.”

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department announced in its late afternoon Friday press release that all media inquiries should be directed to the SBI – rather than the Sheriff’s Department – since the SBI is the agency currently handling the investigation.