Ex-Loudon officer pleads guilty to burglaries, statutory rape

News Sentinel staff

A former part-time Loudon police officer has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for statutory rape, attempted bribery and a series of burglaries in neighboring Monroe County.

Steve Robert Gutt, 25, pleaded guilty Monday to the charges, including 10 counts of aggravated burglary.

The former officer lost his job and landed on the other side of the bars in August when Monroe County authorities charged him and another man in a string of nearly two-dozen burglaries.

The list of charges got even longer in October when investigators said Gutt tried to bribe a jailer to let him call his 17-year-old girlfriend.

Gutt offered Thomas Grande, a Monroe County corrections officer, a pair of boots and some leftover police gear if Grande would let Gutt’s girlfriend sneak a cell phone into the jail, authorities said.

The jailer tipped off his supervisor, Sgt. Tim Pierce, and investigators Lt. Jennifer Bledsoe and Lt. Pat Henry set up a sting. Grande wore a recorder and taped Gutt offering him the bribe, Bledsoe said.

When the girlfriend showed up, investigators photographed her handing the jailer the cell phone and a $20 bill, then arrested her, authorities said.

She admitted to the plot and to having sex with Gutt, Bledsoe said.

The inmate didn’t even get to talk to his girlfriend.

“Gutt never actually laid hands on the phone,” Bledsoe said.

Authorities didn’t give the girl’s name because of her age. They charged her as a juvenile.

Loudon police have said they never had any problems with Gutt, who passed a background check and polygraph to get his job and had completed 120 hours of training.

His initial arrest came after an informant’s tip on the burglaries.